Insurance brokers and insurance companies are getting ready to handle thousands of claims after a week of damage in various parts of the country. The damage caused by the storm surges is similar to that seen during the 2022 Durban floods, although to a much lesser extent.  

In this blog post, we will investigate the potential impact of storm surges on insurance policies in South Africa and discuss the coverage options available to policyholders. Additionally, we will address the challenges that may arise during the claiming process and provide tips to make the process less daunting.

The following policies are how you cover yourself against floods and storms:

1. Personal Insurance:

a. Homeowners Insurance:

Homeowners insurance typically covers damages caused by storms, floods, fire, theft, and other specified events. It covers the physical structure of your home and other permanent systems on your property.

– Flood Coverage: Homeowners insurance may help cover repairs or rebuilding costs if a storm causes water damage to your home.  

– Storm Coverage: Damage caused by severe storms, such as wind damage to your roof or walls, is typically covered by homeowners insurance. 

b. Household Contents Insurance:

This insurance covers the items inside your home, including furniture, electronics, appliances, and personal belongings. 

– Flood Coverage: Household contents insurance usually covers damage or loss of personal property due to flooding caused by a storm. 

– Storm Coverage: It also covers damage to personal belongings caused by storms, such as lightning strikes.  

2. Business Insurance:

a. Commercial Building Insurance:

This insurance protects physical assets such as buildings, offices, and other structures owned or used by your business. It covers damage caused by storms, floods, fire, vandalism, and other perils. Ensure your policy explicitly includes storm and flood damage coverage.

b. Office Contents Insurance:

This insurance protects movable assets and contents within an office space against fire, theft, vandalism, water damage, and specified risks. 

c. Business Interruption Coverage:

This coverage helps compensate for income loss and additional expenses sustained during business interruptions caused by covered perils, including storms and floods.  

d. Electronic Equipment Insurance:

This insurance covers specified electronic equipment against fire, storms, and flooding.

Tip: Reach out to insurance brokers to get the best plan for your business.

Challenges in the Claiming Process:

The claiming process can be complex, and inevitable challenges may arise. It is essential to be aware of potential obstacles, including:

1. Non-disclosure and misrepresentation:

Failure to disclose or misrepresent information can lead to claim repudiation. Insurers can refuse a claim if they demonstrate that the undisclosed or misrepresented information was material.

2. Fraud:

Making fraudulent claims can result in policy voidance, requiring policyholders to repay any benefits received.

3. Non-compliance with contractual conditions: 


 Claims may only be accepted if policyholders adhere to specific policy conditions.

4. Exclusion clauses: 


Policyholders may mistakenly believe they are covered for certain risks, only to discover that their policies specifically exclude them.

5. Act of God:

Insurers may argue that damage caused by “natural disasters,” including storm surges, is an act of God, potentially leading to claim repudiation.

6. Failure to prove ownership

This issue often arises in the home or household contents insurance claims.

7. Disputes over unsatisfactory payouts or claim assessments: 


 Policyholders may disagree with the evaluation of their coverage claim or feel unsatisfied with the payout offered.


Tips to Facilitate the Claiming Process:


To make the claiming process less painful, consider the following tips:

1. Engage with insurance brokers: 


Utilize the expertise of insurance consultants to navigate the claiming process. Confirm all discussions with brokers in writing.

2. Maintain written records:

When communicating directly with insurers, request recordings or written records of advice. Keep these records in a secure place for future reference.


Coastal storm surges can significantly impact insurance policies in South Africa. Understanding the coverage options available and potential challenges during the claiming process can help policyholders navigate this difficult situation. Following these tips will ensure a smoother resolution to your insurance claims.





Insurance Policies for Storms South Africa