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Roof leaks – insurance point of view

When a claim is registered for damages inside a unit due to a roof leak, it is a requirement that the leak be attended to as soon as possible by the Body Corporate.  For example, if an insurance claim needs to be registered due to damages caused by the roof leak inside a unit or on Common Property, it is the requirement of Insurance Brokers to be notified of the potential claim immediately and advise the insurer accordingly however, Insurance Brokers typically will then only appoint a contractor to quote on repairs of the damages once the proof of repair has been received – in the form of a copy of the invoice from the contractor who repaired the roof.  This invoice should be from a reputable company who offers guarantees / warranties on their work, a copy that is registered and specialises in waterproofing.  Insurers are no longer accepting mails confirming the roof has been attended by a caretaker or maintenance worker at the complex.

roof leaks insurance

It must further be noted, that insurers are becoming increasingly strict surrounding these types of claims, and where a unit has previously been repaired due to a roof leak and the roof leak reoccurs, the insurer then reserves the right to reject the claim and any future claims of the same nature – sighting “bad workmanship” on the roof repairs – which means the internal damages to the units will not be repaired by the insurer.

It is imperative that the roofs of complexes are maintained on a regular basis and that all prevention of loss is taken by the Body Corporate as the roof forms part of Common Property. 

The insurers are also not taking storm damages lightly and will investigate thoroughly that the roof was in a state of good repair and that damages were caused merely due to the severity of a storm, failing which they reserve their right to reject the claim.  Unfortunately, with the increasingly bad weather conditions nationally – this is a having huge impact on insurers from a claims basis.

Note that there is a window period of 30 days to register a potential claim thereafter it is considered “late notification” and will need to be motivated, hence any potential claim must be advised to the insurer as soon as possible.

The purpose of Insurance is to: cover “sudden and unforeseen events” and the owner of any property is required to take every reasonable step or action to prevent a loss.

Written by Blyde Pinto

Manager at Trafalgar Financial Services


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