Proving ownership of household items when claiming from your insurer is not as easy as it may seem. Often the insured has not drawn up a proper inventory of all of his or her household possessions prior to submitting a claim or even prior to the inception of cover with their insurer.
Many consumers are also not aware of the average clause in their insurance policy. The average clause is a clause in your insurance policy which stipulates that if the sum you insured your household contents for is less than the actual value of your household contents, your insurer is entitled to pay you a lesser amount. As an example Mary insured the contents of her house for R100 000 but did not have a detailed inventory, so she really did not know the true replacement value of her household possessions. After she was robbed and submitted a claim with her insurer, she drew up a list of all the items in her home including those which had been stolen and realised that she should have been insured for R200 000. She was therefore insured for 50% of her contents and was paid out only 50% of her claim. She was out of pocket for the other 50% of the stolen items.
The Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance’s office has issued the following guidelines for consumers to follow so as to avoid possible problems in the event of a claim arising from the loss of home contents.