The rains are here: Insure your property


The rains are here with us again. Floods are becoming an annual ritual that destroys our properties. There are damages caused by lightning strikes with or without fire. These can cause cracks in walls and burn-out of electrical and other fittings. The simple question is, have you insured your properties? You might think you do not have anything to insure, but the property could be your private dwelling house. That two-bedroom, three- or four-bedroom house could be destroyed by flood or lightning. You can even insure the building that is under construction. The Building includes fixtures and fittings. The walls, roof and floor are all part of the building, as well as where the building is situated.

If the building is not even for you, you can insure the tenants’ improvements on the building. This becomes needful when the proposer is a tenant and does not own the building. The shell of the building will usually be insured under the landlord’s policy.

Do you know that even if you do not own the building or have not done any improvements, you can still insure your household contents and personal effects? Start from your living room and list the items from the television, furniture set, sound system, air conditioners, television stand, dining set and curtains. You move to the kitchen and you can count items like the microwave, blender, kettle, fridge, washing-machine and others. All these items – including your bed, mattress, wardrobe and personal effects like your clothes, shoes and jewellery can all be insured against flood-damage and other perils.

Other properties you can be looking at include your office furniture, electrical and electronic equipment, plant and machinery, and the office building including fixtures and fittings. Most of these items can be destroyed by flood.

Kindly note that under the Fire and allied perils policy, unless otherwise expressly stated in the policy this insurance does not cover  the following properties:

(a)       Goods held in trust or on commission

(b)       Bullion or unset precious stones

(c)       Any curiosity or work of art

(d)       Manuscripts, plans, drawings, or designs, patterns, models, or moulds; securities, obligations or documents of any kind; stamps, coined or paper money, cheques, books of account, or other business books.

Most importantly, those in trading should also insure their stock. The goods they buy and sell can also be destroyed by flood. In case you think you are free from flood because of where you are located, you can also be affected by a burst-pipe. Bursting or destruction or damage to the property or overflowing caused by the bursting of water-pipes or water apparatus is also insurable.

Flood destruction or damage to the property/ies include water overflowing or escaping from rivers, lakes, canals, reservoirs or similar bodies of water, or from public water mains or drains.

When the decision on assets to be insured is taken, there is then a need to determine the value or sum to be insured. If you understate the value of your property, any claim payment will reflect the degree of understatement. This means that ascertaining the right value is very important.

For small businesses, when stock values are small, fixing a sum insured is straightforward. The sum insured is based on replacement cost of the stock, excluding any element of profit included in the price. The story is different for big firms, especially those involved in seasonal trade. I would advise you to speak with your insurance company on that.

In all these, do not forget that with comprehensive motor insurance in place on your vehicle, flood damage is covered. You could also pay as low as Two Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢200) for a private dwelling house worth GH¢100,000. Please be advised in these moments.

The writer is a Chartered Insurance and has over fifteen (15) years of insurance industry experience.



Fire and allied perils Insurance Commercial policy document

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