One question every customer often asks, “is this claimable?”
Insurance terms and conditions can be confusing, especially when it comes to claim time.
It’s fairly common for clients to assume that because they have insurance, the insurance will pay for everything. However, there is one thing no insurance policy will cover and that is ”maintenance, wear and tear”.
So, what is the definition of Maintenance & Wear and Tear?
Maintenance means: “The process of preserving a condition or situation or the state of being preserved.”
Wear and tear means: “damage or deterioration resulting from ordinary use; normal depreciation.”
Both definitions mean the same thing when it comes to your insurance policy. It means that normal costs of depreciation or deterioration of items is not covered by your policy.
These can include, car maintenance;
- Tyre wear
- Regular services
- Carpet wear from foot traffic
- Material on chairs damaged
- Gutter damage due to not being cleaned regularly
These are just some examples of what Insurers classify as maintenance, wear and tear. As a policy holder, it is also your responsibility to mitigate any loss. So, what does this mean?
To Mitigate means; “Make (something bad) less severe, serious, or painful.”
As a policy holder, it is your responsibility to make sure your property, contents, cars etc. are regularly maintained to mitigate any loss.
During storm season, you should make sure all gutters are cleared, your roof, flashings and glass are good condition. This will mitigate any water entering the property or water overflowing causing damage.
If it is not your responsibility e.g. you are a part of a Body Corporate, the Body Corporate must maintain the property on a regular basis and if you believe there is an issue, they need to be notified as soon as possible. This can also include securing all your outdoor belongings, if you don’t secure your outdoor belongings they may get damaged in high winds or cause damage to other property.
So, if maintenance, wear and tear is excluded under the policy will any other damage be covered?
This depends on the wording on your policy. If you have an Accidental Damage or Defined Events policy, the resultant damage from a storm may be covered.
Generally, under an Accidental Damage policy, if the damage is caused due to an insured event e.g. storm, the resultant damage will be covered. However, the cost to repair the maintenance or wear and tear component of the claim will be at the cost of the owner. Of course, each case is considered individually by your Insurers’ claims team to determine what is and isn’t covered.
Google images: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=tyre+wear&rlz=1C1KMZB_enAU582AU597&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiToZLo24fVAhUKVrwKHYNaAwAQ_AUICigB&biw=1920&bih=974#tbm=isch&q=car+maintenance&imgrc=jJmEGNufRPSW6M: