Insurance Tip 1: It’s raining, it’s pouring
Rainy season has begun! This brings us to question of water damage: what is and what is not covered.
|WHAT?||Is it covered by standard insurance policies?|
|Storm damage (Storm as qualified by the Meteorological Institute)||YES|
|Snow, hail damage (at time of storm)||YES – (snow lying on your roof for two weeks and causing slow damage is not covered)|
|Flood damage (from an external source of water)||YES|
|Rain Damage (seepage into walls or roof)||NO|
|Damage to pipes, sewage system, boilers etc.||YES… but there are some exclusions:
a) Damage caused by earth movement – not earthquake.
b) Damage caused by faulty planning or building.
c) Damage caused by normal wear and tear. In simple terms, a burst pipe is covered, including all work necessary to repair it. A 15 year old boiler that “dies”, is not covered. Breaking news! Now, for the first time, you can insure your boiler for any eventuality (cost: approx. NIS 100 per year).
|Water Damage to contents of building (i.e.: your carpet is damaged or you have to repaint)||YES|
|Damage to Third Party (i.e.: Your bathtub overflows into your neighbor’s apartment, destroying his antique collection.)||YES|
Claims: What to do?
Most Insurance companies have special “water damage” assessors and contractors that deal with these problems. If you are insured through your mortgage, you will have to contact their contractors.
Insurance Tip 2: Know your insurance terms
People who have expensive jewelry are usually advised to take out All-Risks cover.
The difference between this and the standard cover is that usually only fire and theft are covered and only within the home. The All-Risks coverage extends the cover to anywhere within Israel and also includes loss. In other words, if your diamond falls out of the setting or is forgotten at a restaurant, or washed down the drain, there is no cover unless the All-Risks option has been taken out. (For expensive pieces of jewelry, over NIS 30,000 an additional condition is usually that they must always be either worn or in a safe). One can also extend this cover to include overseas cover for short periods of time. It is important that you provide your insurance company with an official estimation of your jewelry (usually done by an authorized assessor or with receipts of purchase).
Other All-Risks “candidates” are laptop computers, cameras, and doctors’ bags – in short, any expensive item that is often taken out of the house. Another item, which can easily be lost or stolen, is Tefillin (at your son’s dormitory or in shul). In most of these examples, the cost of adding these items to your policy under All-Risks is well worth it.
Please note – none of the above items are covered if they are left unattended in a car and are subsequently stolen.
Insurance Tip 3: What is the procedure if my car is stoned?
Unfortunately, this is the new reality. In general, all damage resulting from terror attacks is covered by the department of Mas Rechush ((מס רכוש (All of us contribute indirectly to this via other tax payments).
Firstly, report to the police. Then you should go to an assessor who is recognized by מס רכוש. The telephone number for מס רכוש in Jerusalem is 02-654-5231/4.
Then you have to ask your insurance agent to obtain a non-claims letter from your insurance company stating that you have not made an insurance claim for the same incident. This should be faxed directly to the assessor. Just a side note: If you have cover for reinforced windows – make sure they are fully covered, as they have to be insured for more (they cost more).