Are you insured?

Jul 16, 2019

As we are gaining experience on the insurance covers and the various tricks that the insurance Cos come up with, we will report to you a new experience on the subject of insurance.

Firstly and based on our previous report on the same subject (insurance Cos tricks and illegalities) we had a visit from the administrative staff of the Association of the Insurance Cos. We were informed that provided the property is correctly insured (not under insured) the insurance Co will cover the replacement cost of a similar quality without deducting wear and tear.

I have asked for this to be put in writing because the depreciation deduction appears that it is widespread used by the insurance companies, based on our readers’ reaction. So, for those who dispute the depreciation claim could take the insurance Co to court and ask the court to be present the association as a witness (will the association go against its members who are the insurance Co – in Cyprus??).

Regarding the subject of bad workmanship as a result of which the insurer suffered damages, its validity will depend on the insurance Co’s surveyor’s report. For this reason and if you have such a claim against you, ask to get a copy of the surveyor’s report, which you may dispute using your own consultant on the subject. Getting a copy of the insurance Co report is therefore a prerequisite.

We came up with another innovative claim by the insurance Cos that is that of third party insurance. It is highly recommended that you get an insurance cover to pay any damage caused to a visitor to your property. A simple fall down as a result of protruding tiling, protruding pavements etc within your cartilage etc etc could give a cause for anyone who suffers damage to seek payment of damages. The cost of such cover is not much, whereas the law suit/damage sought could run into thousands. The cause of the “neglect” on behalf of the insured must be doubted and for the injured person to have exercise due care himself. So here you are – the odd situation is that the insured resident/himself is not covered, be it that all others are covered. Did anyone know this? It was explained to us by an insurance Co that not only the insured/owner is not covered but also his wife, children and other extended members of his family etc. We have asked this also to be put in writing, so that people know the insurance policy short falls. On this point we had a case some time ago where two young boys entered the ground of a house illegally and used the pool as a result of which one of them got injured. End result the insured had to pay damages? So trespassers are the responsibility of the insured?

In an odd case the property belongs to a company, the ownership of which belongs to the insurer (in shares). The insurance Co claimed that because the insurer was in effect the owner the insurance Co was not liable for payment. The insured claimed that the Co and himself are two different legal entities and the insured in such a case had nothing to do with his Co. He (insured) claimed that he is also shareholder of the Bank of Cyprus, Louis, Group, several insurance Cos etc (be it small shares) and wondered that in the event he suffered any damage in such buildings etc, if he is covered or not.

The last case is that we came to know that whereas a person with a full comprehensive car insurance, in case of an accident, he is not covered himself (be it everybody else). This last information and the others can be covered with a small additional amount say €10-€20 p.a., but has anyone been informed about this? The claim by the insurance Cos is that “you should study the contract”, but then should not the insurance provider explain all these odd things to the insured? What is the responsibility of the Registrar of the Insurance Cos?

Is it not the “duty of care” of a provider to explain fully the pitfalls, as well as that of the Registrar of the Insurance Cos to make sure that the public at large understands and the Insurance Cos are not hiding behind legalistic expressions and small prints that are not usually understood.

In ending, please read this. A house duly insured for fire suffered some damage and it was almost burned down because the neighbors decided to burn the weeds and clean their plot next door. He was informed that “he is lucky” because the contract stipulated that he the insured) ought to clean a distance of 3 meters around his plot perimeter!! So that we understand it, this means the employment of a labor force is a must unless you insure for this eventuality (in addition of trespassing into the neighbors’ property!!). God help, we say, the unfortunate insured who seem to believe that his insurance cover is all fine!!

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