About Homeowner’s Comprehensive Insurance
Homeowner’s Comprehensive Insurance covers your residential property, being everything that forms part of the structure of the property, including but not limited to, the building, domestic quarters, outbuildings, garages, carports, paving, property boundary walls and their permanent fixtures and fittings. Cover is provided for sudden and unforeseen damages, resulting from any of the insured perils mentioned in the policy wording.
A home is one of the most precious assets that a person possesses. A total loss of your property, as a result of one of the insured perils, could result in you no longer being able to live in your home, leaving you in financial distress. Homeowner’s Comprehensive Insurance is therefore extremely important and affordable for the cover provided, giving you peace of mind if you suffer an unfortunate loss.
Most banks include a homeowner’s insurance quote with their home loan offering, as it is a mandatory obligation of the home loan, whether applying directly to a bank or through a mortgage originator. If you do not accept the insurance quote, you will be requested to provide proof of your own homeowner’s comprehensive insurance policy before the mortgage bond is registered. The sum insured on your policy must reflect the full replacement value of your property. This will protect you and the bank from suffering a financial loss, if any insured damage occurs to the property.
The Absa process is seamless. We will provide you with an insurance quote for your property, with your home loan application.
The insurance premiums are affordable and if you choose, the premium is collected from your bond account, ensuring that they are consistently paid, and that the insurance cover remains in place.
You will have full comprehensive insurance cover.
Our claims process is hassle-free, allowing you to register your claim digitally via the Absa website, or even from your Absa Banking App.
Our approved service providers offer a guarantee on their workmanship, which ensures a high-quality work ethic at the time of a claim.
Some of our many additional benefits are listed below:
o Accidental Death cover up to a maximum value of R12 500.
o Alternative accommodation if you and your family are displaced as a result of an insured event.
o Loss of rental income if your legal tenant is displaced as a result of an insured event.
Additional benefits are subject to the limits as stated in the policy wording.
Terms such as market value, sum insured and full replacement value:
This could either be the retail, selling or purchase price of the property aligned to property values in the same street or area, proportionate to the structure and the size of the property.
The amount that your property/building is insured for, as stated in your schedule. This is the maximum amount payable if your building suffers a total loss as a result of one of the insured perils covered.
Full replacement value
The total amount that it will cost to rebuild your property/building. This value includes the building structure, outbuildings, garages, swimming pools, walls/fences, security fixtures, paving and other permanent fixtures such as solar panels, aerials, and satellite devices or similar. Further to this, at the time of a claim, it includes all additional costs such as rubble removal, engineer, and architectural fees, etc., hence making the replacement value higher than the market value of the property.
The replacement value should be equal to the sum insured amount stated in your schedule.
The bank valuates your property to determine that its market value is sufficient to adequately cover the loan amount that you have applied for with them. This valuation assessment does not guarantee that the property is free of defects or that the structure has been built to the South African National Standards (SANS) building regulation standards, as required by law, and the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. The assessment only provides an estimate of the replacement value of your home. This, however, may not be 100% correct. It remains the responsibility of the bond holder/insured, taking into consideration the description of full replacement value above, to ensure that the correct value is obtained and provided to your insurer, to be added as the sum insured value of your building on your policy document. Your building must always be insured for its full replacement value. This will prevent averages being applied when settling a claim submitted on your building at any time during the lifespan of the policy. For additional guidance, use our calculator for factors to apply before advising us of your replacement value/sum insured for your property.
As a homeowner, you must ensure that the construction of the home that you are intending to buy or build is of a high quality and built to the SANS building regulation standards. It is advisable to get input on the structure, soil that it is built on, and if it adheres to the local authority and minimum building requirements from a relevant professional/person in the know.
Homeowner’s insurance does not cover any loss or damage resulting from a lack of maintenance, gradual deterioration, or wear and tear on your property. It further excludes incidences or resultant damage occurring as a result, even if it is an insured peril that caused the damage. It is therefore important to carry out regular maintenance on your property by a registered company, to prevent any deterioration or wear and tear occurring.
- Where an insured event results in loss or damage to your property, you must advise us within 30 days of the occurrence of the event. If your claim is not reported to us within this notification period, it could result in us rejecting your claim.
- If the event is as a result of theft, loss of property, malicious damage, or bodily injury, you must report it to the police within 24 hours of the event occurring.
- You must provide us with the following:
o If the incident/event was reported to the police, you would need to provide us with the case number.
o Full details of the loss.
o Details of any other insurance that is in place covering the event.
o Proof, information and sworn declarations where required.
o Any documents, legal processes, or communication in connection with and relevant to the event.
o Any other information or documentation that we may request.
The excess is the first part of the cost of any claim, for which the policyholder is responsible. The amount of the excess for which you are responsible will be stipulated in your policy schedule/document. You will be required to pay your applicable excess to the service provider that we appoint before they start with the repairs.
Your claim can be lodged in one of the following ways:
By logging on to your Banking App, scrolling down to Your insurance and clicking on Register claim.
- Log in to register a claim using your mobile phone or computer.
- Call us on 0860 100 876* and follow the prompts. A consultant will guide you through the claims registration process.
*This number will revert/transfer you to our after-hours assistance line between 4:30pm and 8:00am where a service provider will be appointed to provide you with emergency services.
If we reject your claim, we will notify you and provide a reason why the claim is not payable in terms of the cover provided for under your policy. If you disagree with the rejection of your claim, there is a dispute process outlined in your policy wording for you to follow in submitting your dispute to Absa Insurance Company.
If you travel and your home is unoccupied or vacant for a period of 60 days or longer, you will no longer have insurance cover on your policy. If your property is illegally occupied at any time, insurance cover in terms of your policy also ceases to exist.
Salvage is the damaged or undamaged items/portion of a claim that we settle. We have the right to remove and keep possession of such salvageable items. As an example, if someone bumps into your gate and damages it, we have the right to remove the damaged gate after we accepted your claim and replaced the gate.
Betterment is when you are placed in a better financial position after an event than before the event occurred. As an example, if you have a 150-litre geyser that bursts and you want to replace it with a 300-litre geyser, it will be betterment. In this instance, we are able to assist in replacing it with a 300-litre geyser but will only reimburse you for the cost of the original 150-litre geyser after the excess has been applied. You will be responsible for settling the remainder of the cost of the 300-litre geyser with the supplier.
When an insured property is repaired, we are not always able to match materials to those in place before the repair. We will, however, match them as close as circumstances reasonably allow. We cannot be held liable to replace materials if they are unable to be matched with identical replacement materials. As an example, if a pipe bursts in your home and causes damage to your orange tiles, which have subsequently been discontinued, then we will be liable for the cost of matching them as closely as possible. We might choose to pay you the cash value of the repairs for you to use towards replacing the tiles with a product of your choice.
Consequential damages are an indirect loss after an insured event. For example, if you have a burst pipe, the consequential damage is the loss of water. Such consequential damages or loss is not covered by the policy.
Insured events and exclusions
Your Homeowner’s Insurance provides you with cover for the structure of your residential home against sudden and unforeseen events for loss or damage resulting from:
- Accidental damage.
- Malicious damage.
- Theft and attempted theft.
- Fire or explosion.
- Wind, lightning, thunderbolt, storms, water, flood, hail, or snow.
- Earthquakes, excluding an earth tremor arising from any mining operations.
- Bursting, leaking, or overflowing of geysers, cisterns, baths or fixed water tanks, fire extinguishing installations/appliances, water pipes and other apparatus forming part of the buildings.
- Leakage of oil from a fixed oil-fired heating installation or apparatus connected to it.
- Impact damage caused by aircraft or any object dropped from them, from vehicle impact, impact from falling trees unless intentionally felled, impact from breaking or collapsing of TV antennas, radio aerials, satellite dishes, masts, and lightning conductors.
- Power surge up to the value of R10 000 per claim.
- Subsidence and landslip
The policy wording must be referred to in terms of the covers provided on the above, relating to the terms, conditions, and exclusions.
Not all eventualities are covered by your insurance policy and it is important for you to understand what is not covered. Here are some examples of what is not covered:
- Damages that existed before you insured the property.
- Loss or damage due to defective construction.
- Damage due to wear and tear and breakdown (such as your gate motor or garage door motor that just stops working without any insured event happening).
- The cost of refilling your swimming pool after a valid loss or damage occurring.
- Maintenance-related damage to the property, or damage as a result of maintenance not being carried out at the property.
- Consequential loss.
- Loss or damage to illegally occupied buildings (this is a building occupied by people without your permission).
- Damages to your property if it is rented and you do not have a valid rental contract/agreement in place at the time of the loss or damage occurring.
- Loss or damage to properties that have been vacant/unoccupied for more than 60 days, or where they are illegally occupied at the time of the loss or damage.
It is necessary for you to carefully read the policy terms and conditions in conjunction with the policy schedule as these are just a few of the exclusions on your policy and these documents provide the full details of what is covered and what is not covered, the excess structure (first amount payable) and cover limits in line with the covers provided and excluded.
Homeowner’s Insurance can only cover your property if it is used for residential purposes. It does not cover any form of business use, such as but not limited to a guest house, doctors’ rooms or similar. It also excludes cover if it is occupied as a commune. If your property is used for anything other than residential purposes, we can provide you with a quote with the correct covers under the product suited to your requirements. Please contact us on 0860 100 876 for further assistance.
Where you have a legal tenant renting your property as a private residence, your cover will not be affected.
When an insured event occurs and makes it impossible to continue living in your home, we will pay a cumulative amount of up to a maximum of 25% of the sum insured for a period of up to 12 months per claim, to cover your temporary accommodation.
We will cover you for loss of rent where an insured event occurs that results in the property being uninhabitable, and thereby leaving you in a position of losing rental income. You will be required to prove that the tenant is a legal tenant. This will, for example, require you to provide us with a signed lease and proof of the rental income.
Home Assist is a 24-hour helpline, providing assistance for household incidents that may require emergency assistance to prevent any further damage from occurring.
Assistance may also be provided if a policyholder becomes disconnected from essential services such as electricity, hot water, or sanitary facilities. This would exclude incidences that are municipal-related.
The Home Assist service provides you with cover for three (3) incidents per annual period of cover from your policy start date.
Emergency services for the following will be available to you:
o Plumbing repairs
o Electrical repairs
o Locksmith repairs
o Appliance repairs
The service covers the call-out fee and the first hour of labour. Please refer to the Home Assist benefits brochure to ensure that you are fully aware of the covers provided.
A Policy Schedule is a document that forms part of the policy, in which information such as the particulars of the policyholder, property insured, sum(s) insured, period of insurance, premium details, deductibles and further similar information is recorded, issued by your insurance company and sent to you in conjunction with your policy wording, detailing all the policy terms and conditions, and confirming your insurance.
Underinsurance is when the property sum insured on your schedule is less than the full replacement value (defined above) of your property. The full replacement value is the amount that it will cost to rebuild your property if a total loss occurs. As already mentioned, if your property is underinsured, the average clause will apply at the time of a loss/claim, which will result in you being reimbursed less than the full value of your claim and accountable to pay in the difference.
If the property sum insured represented in the schedule is less than the actual replacement value of your property at the time of loss or damage, you will be responsible to pay a rateable proportion of the claim. This applies whether the insured has suffered a total or partial loss.
It is important that you review your Homeowner’s Insurance at least annually to make sure that you are adequately insured, taking into consideration any factors that might have affected the value and/or the circumstance of the risk itself, such as home improvements/alterations.
You need to inform Absa Insurance Company immediately of any changes that can affect your policy. Among others, these changes will include the following:
- Changes in your email address, telephone number, postal address, or any other contact details.
- Any change in circumstance at the property that could affect the risk factors initially considered in underwriting and rating your property, which, in turn, could influence the chances of a loss, damage or liability occurring.
- Any additions or alterations made to the building, either cosmetically or structurally.
- Any change of use of the building if you have started running a business from your home and it is no longer used for domestic purposes only.
Your sum insured will increase every year to align it with the relevant building inflationary factors applicable on the renewal date of your policy. This accounts for but is not limited to building material and other increases. This and various other factors are considered at the time of renewal to determine the appropriate annual increase that is applied to your premium.
For more information, please contact Absa Insurance Company, Monday to Friday, between 8:00am and 4:30pm using the details below.
Note: We are closed on weekends and public holidays. If you need assistance during these times please call us and you will be re-routed to our 24-hour call centre for assistance related to any emergencies or certain claims-related matters.
Call us on 0860 100 876
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Assist queries
Call us on 0860 100 876
Call us on 0860 100 876
New claims: email@example.com
Existing claims: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us on 0860 111 665
Email us at email@example.com