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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Home Contents Insurance In South Africa

Aug 2, 2022 | Property

If you had to grab just four items from your home in the event of an emergency, what would those things be? For some of us, we’d probably grab a sentimental item, our phones, maybe some important documents if we have the presence of mind to find them, and then, for some reason, a random item. Like a frying pan.

The mind is a funny thing in moments of panic, so don’t feel bad about the frying pan. It might just come in handy – you never know.

Thankfully, though, if you have home contents insurance then most of your homely possessions will be covered against theft, fire, floods, accidents, as well as a range of other risks. In fact, home contents insurance covers such a wide variety of items against such a lengthy list of things that can go wrong, it is undoubtedly an absolute necessity.

It can be devastating to have your personal belongings stolen or damaged, and this situation is made so much worse if you don’t have cover, knowing that you will have to spend money out of your own pocket to replace or repair these items.

Here are 5 things that you probably didn’t know about home contents insurance – until now.

  1. Your location affects your premium
    Maybe this shouldn’t surprise you, but a lot of the time we think about the value of our home contents being the only factor that will determine how much our insurance will cost. And while the value that the policy will cover is significant, it isn’t the only factor. Another key factor is where you live, which makes sense. If you live in an area where crime is rife, your premium could be higher because the chances that you may be broken into and claim from your home contents insurance policy will be higher, however if your neighbourhood is statistically safer, then your premium could be lower.
  2. You pay for the fire brigade
    Not every insurer is the same, but generally speaking, if you have a fire in your home and the fire brigade is called in, then you’ll have to settle the bill. That is, unless you have home contents insurance, which should (depending on who your insurer is) cover any charges made by the fire brigade or any public authority following an incident for which you may claim.
  3. Monkey business
    If you live in KZN or the Cape, then you’ll know all about the damage that can be wrought by monkeys and baboons. It’s crazy how much chaos these creatures can create as they pilfer through your belongings, mostly as they search for food. The good news is that a lot of insurers have made sure to include cover for the loss of or damage to your home contents that’s caused by animals (excluding your domestic animals and pests).
  4. Your sunglasses, phones, and bicycles aren’t covered
    Items like these are usually not covered by a home contents insurance policy. It can be a nasty shock to discover that your designer shades, which were destroyed in your lounge by a well-meaning toddler, aren’t covered and that you’ll have to cough up to replace or repair them… that’s why we urge you to make sure you have this chat with your insurer. They will most likely advise you to add portable possessions insurance for these items to your portfolio of cover.
  5. Renters can get home contents insurance
    This tip is old, but it still surprises people to learn that even though they’re renting, they can still get home contents insurance. Home contents is absolutely not for home owners only, and while a landlord is responsible for the physical structure of the property, they have no obligation to cover what goes into it.

It’s more often than not completely up to you to get quotes, work out the value of all the things in your rental property, and then take out and pay for a home contents insurance policy.

Ultimately, while pots, pans, and trinkets might just be considered ‘stuff,’ the fact is that it’s your stuff and it cost you time and money to collect, buy, and put into your home. It’s worth getting home contents so that if the worst does happen, you’ll be in a position to protect yourself from the enormous costs of having to put your home back together.

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