The Real Story Winter, Reinstatement Value, Foreign licenses

By Shimon Cohen       


Winter is here. 

Now that the log fire / heater is warming you up, a few words about fire 


What is it? 

The definition of fire in most policies is the appearance of sparks or flames. 

(In other words, damage caused by a hot iron would not be covered under 

standard fire cover). Also included is smoke damage and explosion. 

Spontaneous combustion is not covered, nor is theft as a result of the fire. 

Obviously, if you own your home you should make sure that you are 

covered for fire damage for your contents as well as for the actual 

house/apartment. (This is done either through a private insurance policy or 

through your mortgage). However, for those renting homes, it is extremely 

important to check your contract and see whether you or the landlord is 

responsible for this cover. 

Other aspects of fire cover are: 

– Payment for alternative accommodation 

– Payment of rental (depending on amount of insurance) 

In our experience, most fires have been caused by unattended Shabbat or 

Chanukah candles and by clothing left near electric heaters – so, be warned! 


Insurance Tip – Kinun (or Reinstatement Value)  

Have you ever received an insurance claims check where an amount seems 

to be deducted from the payment, with the mysterious words “kinun” 

printed next to the deduction. Translated, this means “re-instatement 


An example: Let’s say you pay NIS 3,000 annual premium to insure your car 

that is worth NIS 80,000. You have an accident, which costs NIS 10,000. The 

cost of the repair is covered by the insurance but now you have “used up” 

NIS 10,000 of the cover and therefore need to “top up” the policy. The 

amount that you actually pay is dependent on a) the cost of the damage 

and b) how much longer the policy has to run. In other words, the two 

extremes are: having an accident on the first or last day of the policy. On 

the first day you would pay maximum “kinun” because you have to ‘top up’ 

the policy for a full year, and on the last day there is no “kinun” at all. When 

the new insurance year begins, everything starts afresh. 

When do you not have to pay the Kinun? 

  1. When there is a total loss—in this case you use all your premium to pay

the total cover—or when the accident happens on the last day of the 


  1. BituachHova—In claims of personal injury there is no re-instatement 


  1. Any case where the client decides not to replace or repair the damage.

For example, if you decide not to repair your old Subaru, you will be paid 

out minus the VAT but without the reinstatement clause kicking in. 


“The times they are a changin’!”          

New Conditions for driving with a foreign license in Israel   

1) Non- residents must hold a valid foreign driver’s license for the type of car they are driving in Israel. 

2) They must be 17 years or older 

3) They are not unfit to receive an Israeli license. 

4) They have not been in Israel from date of their last entry for more than a year.  

5) The definition of “last entry”: Where the non-resident was abroad for at least 3 consecutive months.  

Example: A tourist or student comes to visit Israel once or twice a year. As long as he/she went back home for at least 3 consecutive months and doesn’t stay in Israel for more than a year, then he/she can use his/her license every time. 

Problem: A yeshiva student who is here for Shana Bet. He arrives for his first year from chul. He can drive for the full year on his Foreign license. He then goes home for bein hazmanim and returns for Elul. If he doesn’t return to chul for at least 3 months, his last entry is calculated from when he arrived for Shana Aleph and he no longer has a valid license in Israel!! In a case like this, he/she must immediately convert his/her license to an Israeli license.            How to do this? The student must present his/her passport, study visa, eye exam, medical exam and foreign license to misrad harishui 

N.B.: This is my understanding and interpretation of the rather complicated law. See takana 367 of the Road Vehicle Law 

Have a safe and warm winter. 

Egert & Cohen 

We’re here when you need us. 

Shimon Cohen 050-548-2192 


Shimon Cohen is the manager of Egert & Cohen Insurance. Egert & Cohen is a family business that specializes in serving the Anglo and new olim populations. They provide a friendly and professional one-stop-shop for all your insurance needs. 

Egert & Cohen can be reached at 02-622-7999 or through their website 


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