1 in 3 homes in SA is underinsured - Is your home properly insured for fire damage?


Jade Poole from I Write Words


The dry winter air sparks a number of veld fires and our fears of our homes becoming victim to fire damage. Here’s what you need to know about household insurance and fire damage...

Veld fires are a common occurrence in South Africa during winter. The moment you see one near your home you are reminded of how quickly these wildfires can spread and the potential damage they could do to homes.

People whose homes have fallen victim to fire damage have felt the devastation a wildfire can leave in its wake.

And those who do not have household insurance know what it is like to be left with absolutely nothing.

There are of course, also risks in your home of a fire starting from faulty appliances or bad wiring.

This is why it is a good idea to review your household insurance to ensure you are properly covered.

What types of fires should I watch out for?

Veld Fires

These are out of your control, however, there are a few steps you can take to protect your home from these wildfires, especially if you are the owner of a thatched house.

During the fire season, you need to keep updated on weather reports for conditions of extreme wind. A wildfire can spread extremely fast, so you need to discuss evacuation routines with your family and neighbours.

Electrical Fires

These fires result from faulty wiring if your home is old. Load shedding or a power failure might also cause an electrical fire as you may have forgotten to turn off an appliance when the power is out.

Fireplaces, heaters and braais should be carefully monitored at all times. Make sure a certified electrician has checked your home for any bad wiring.

What damage can a fire cause?

When a fire starts in your home, it is possible for you to quickly contain it. Sometimes a small home fire may only cause some basic structural damage and ruin a few of your personal belongings.

In a more severe situation, your home as a whole might be damaged.

This includes your vehicles, garden, any outbuildings, homes around you and everything in your home. This can be a horrible situation to find yourself in, especially if you are not covered for the unexpected.

The thing is, and what many people do not know, is that it is not just the flames of a fire that causes damage, heat damage, smoke damage and water damage can also occur such as your geyser bursts.

What is the difference between building insurance and home contents insurance?

Buildings insurance covers the physical structures of your property such as the roof, walls and floors. Contents insurance covers the items inside your home such as furniture and appliances.

If you are a homeowner, then you need to have both. With us (Oneplan) here is how we explain it:

Household contents means:

  1. Household goods and personal belongings inside the home that you are responsible for.
  2. Fixtures and fittings inside the home you own or for which you are legally responsible.

Home means both of the following:

  1. The main residence at the address of buildings or any other place where you are temporarily staying or employed;
  2. Outbuildings and other roofed structures, which include your garages, carports, wendy houses, domestic workers’ living quarters, garden sheds - an outbuilding is a separate building on your property and it does not inter-lead with the main building - meaning it is NOT attached to your main house.

How do I know if I am properly insured?

As you know, 1 in 3 homes in SA is underinsured, this is why it is important for you to make sure you have the right level of cover.

For example, if you are currently building your own home, is your home insured during this building process?

If you own a holiday house, is this home insured for its full replacement value? Does this include the consequential loss of income from a tenant’s rental if you have to rebuild your home after a fire?

Have you recently updated your insurance policy with any recent renovations you have done?

If you have paid off the mortgage on your house and closed this account that your insurance was linked to, have you now taken out a new comprehensive insurance plan to cover you?

These are all important questions to ask and keep in mind.

Let’s look at an example…

Let’s say you bought your house for R1 million 7 years ago and you insured it for this amount and have not increased this over the years. Because of the increasing costs of living and building materials to rebuild this exact home, it might cost R2 million if you had to rebuild it, which means you are underinsured by 50% and will have to pay in this amount in order to rebuild your home.

Does Oneplan cover fire damage?


The great thing about our household insurance is that we use an awesome and easy to apply cover slider.

All you have to do is select the amount of cover you want at the price you can afford. It’s that easy.

Get in touch with one of our team members to work out your free quote today!

Yours in hassle-free household insurance,


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