Diligent care will ensure fair and just insurance indemnity

[Dagmar Gilden | 23.09]

Home insurance is so obvious for many people that it is hard to even imagine a proper household without insurance cover. However, understanding the nature of insurance depends on the person, and the same can be said about indemnifying damage.

"A roof destroyed in a storm, dwellings with water damage, a home damaged by vandalism or a home destroyed in a fire are all home insurance events where the homeowner is guaranteed the financial resources to restore the building or apartment to its former state," noted Product Manager of Seesam Property Insurance Dagmar Gilden as some of the most common home insurance events. 

However, when it comes to depreciation of home contents due to natural phenomena or time, the issue becomes more complex and the timeframe and diligence towards property become essential factors.
The best way to make sure you are protected from unexpected circumstances is to be sure, before entering into the contract, what is insured, in which events damage will be indemnified and what the client's obligations are in order to make sure that the insurance cover is valid.

In order to ensure that the homeowner will receive the required indemnity in the case of any damage, Seesam's representative hereby shares five circumstances related to homes that must definitely be taken into consideration when entering into an insurance contract.

Accurate data concerning your home
The data concerning the home of the insured person must not significantly diverge from those provided in the contract. For example, the area of the building is actually bigger than provided in the contract or the construction of the building is set out inaccurately. The data provided in the policy must always be diligently checked and, in the case of any questions, a representative of the insurer must be addressed.

A home needs constant care
Should a 10-year-old washing machine, refrigerator or TV fail to work, the reason for this is usually the wear and tear of the object, which is not considered to constitute an insured event.
The same applies to the wear and tear, decomposing or decaying of the building itself. If a fibre cement roof is half a century old, the useful life of the boards supporting the eaves of the roof has expired and they fall off or the floor sinks because the boards underneath have decomposed, these do not qualify as insured events. The same applies to the destruction of a water pipe that has corroded over decades. 

Comply with safety requirements
A property owner should act prudently towards their property, try to avoid damage and, should the latter occur, limit its extent. Therefore, chimneys and heating sources should be inspected and held in good maintenance, the dwelling must have a smoke detector, fire should only be started in the prescribed locations and candles should be lit on non-combustible objects, not in the vicinity of curtains and always with someone present. The biggest fire in Seesam's statistics in the previous year, in the opinion of the Rescue Board, started with the use of an electric heater and due to the obstruction of the air intake or outlet. As a result, the clothes and bedding adjacent to the electric heater caught fire. In total, the amount of the indemnity was just over a quarter of a million euros.
When leaving your home, windows and doors should not be left open; in the case of flooding, the water supply must be turned off in order to limit the extent of damage. Should you notice a loose edge on the roof, you should aim to repair this instead of facing the devastating consequences of autumn storms.

Take action against mould immediately
Home insurance is meant for indemnifying sudden and unexpected damage. Damage caused over a longer period of time such as mould is not subject to indemnification. Mould often occurs due to water permeating the structures of the building or excessive humidity due to a lack of ventilation. Even though mould is easier to wash off or hide with fresh paint, the underlying cause should be determined in order to avoid worse damage and eliminate the cause. In addition to its ugly appearance, mould causes allergies and respiratory diseases. 

Moving soil and construction quality 
Home insurance does not indemnify damage caused due to the sinking or collapse of the building or parts thereof. It often appears that the underlying cause for such damage is inappropriate planning or construction. This means that the particularities of the soil have not been taken into consideration and the ground has not been sufficiently prepared or the building has been built on a weak foundation. In order to avoid such situations, it is a good idea to have experts perform all the required geological surveys and make sure that the construction company is competent.

Insurance is provided by Compensa Vienna Insurance Group, ADB Estonian Branch, which operates under the Seesam trademark in Estonia. Before concluding policies, please read the terms and conditions at www.seesam.ee and consult an expert if needed.
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