Every year, fireworks cause serious injuries and substantial property damage, especially during the festive season.
There hasn’t been official statistic released in South Africa relating to firework damage and injuries occurring in Durban, but according to National Fire Protection (NFPA), fireworks caused an average of 18,500 reported fires in the U.S. Of which, some were structure fires and vehicle fires. These fires caused 3 deaths, injured 40 civilians and cost about R580 million in direct property damage.
The nice thing about homeowners’ insurance is that the standard insurance policy includes coverage for fires. So, you would be covered if someone launched a firecracker and it hit your home. Depending on the policy, the coverage amount will vary, but your good broker will tell you this. Besides, you can always increase the amount if you’d like more coverage. Good brokers and good insurance companies will also tell you about any exclusions, but if your broker or insurer forgets, just ask them for exclusions in the coverage—for example, are outbuilding, pools or sheds covered?
A firework that malfunctions and injures a person on your property, whether this person is or isn’t a member of the household, could be covered. This sort of coverage falls under a section for medical payments. The coverage limits for no-fault medical expenses are generally fairly low, and again, depending on the policy the amount can vary. Most limits rage from R10,000 to R50,000. It’s useful to have this kind of insurance if your injured friend or neighbour doesn’t have medical aid and seeks to recover medical costs from you.
Now, for those who do have homeowners’ insurance, when lawsuits are filed against them for firework-related issues, they will also be covered under the liability section of a homeowner’s policy. Whether the firework-related issues are with medical treatment, property damage or even both, it still falls under the personal liability section of the policy.
Most homeowners’ insurance policies provide a minimum of R1 million worth of liability insurance, but as the best brokers in Durban, we don’t think this is nearly enough, because R1 million is swallowed up so quickly after a few bills. There are higher amounts available, of course, and we suggest purchasing at least R20 million worth of liability protection or as much as one can afford.
The point of insurance is to protect your assets, that’s why the top brokers in Durban will suggest buying enough liability insurance to protect your assets. People all around KZN and South Africa own property or have investments and savings worth more than the liability limits in their policy. That’s why many consider purchasing an excess liability or umbrella policy.
Umbrella or excess liability policies are kind of like top up policies; they provide extra coverage, and can’t be purchased unless you have homeowners’ insurance (or auto insurance, but this will only top up car-related issues). An umbrella liability policy isn’t part of your homeowner’s liability policy (or motor policy); it’s an extension, so you’ll have to purchase it separately. And in the same way that “top up” insurance kicks in, umbrella liability insurance kicks in only once the cost of damage exceeds the liability coverage limit in your homeowner’s policy. Keep in mind that members of the family injured by fireworks aren’t covered under an umbrella liability policy. They will be covered under a separate health insurance policy.
If you are in the business of selling firecrackers, your homeowners’ policies won’t cover your business’ activity with fireworks. Because it’s a business, you’ll need to consider a business owner’s policy. Finding the best brokerage in Durban or the best and most ethical insurer in KZN means finding the best coverage that’s specific and just right for this type of business. Remember to do your research before grabbing the cheapest policy with any insurance company.
Comprehensive insurance is an optional auto insurance coverage that covers fire and firework damage to vehicles.
We understand that when it comes to insurance, especially public liability insurance, it can be difficult to understand. That’s why brokers are here to help. Don’t hesitate to comment or email any questions.