Maintain your home and avoid rejected claims

Homeowner’s insurance is meant to restore your property if it is damaged by sudden, unforeseen and accidental events. It can come as a nasty surprise that home insurance doesn’t cover normal wear and tear, which is the gradual deterioration caused by ageing, normal use, or ­­the environment (which includes hazards like hail, rust, mildew, insect infestations, etc).­­

Poor property maintenance can result in rejected claims

To help prevent loss or damage caused by wear and tear, you must maintain your home, repair small issues early on, and make sure that everything is in good working order. If you don’t keep your home in good condition and need to claim on your homeowner’s policy, your claim might be rejected.

For example, water damage can be caused by a blocked or leaking gutter, so you need to maintain your gutters properly. If you don’t, and you claim for water damage caused by a poorly maintained gutter, your claim may be rejected.

Maintaining your home is a lot less stressful if you set up a schedule and a checklist, and regularly spend a few hours doing standard maintenance checks. You can manage your risks by noting issues on your checklist and repairing them before they cause damage.

Regular maintenance can save you a lot of money in the long run 

The time and money you put into regular maintenance can save you significant expenses in the long run. If you catch problems early enough, they may need only minor repairs that don’t cost much. Leaving a maintenance issue unattended can cause much more serious and expensive damage over time. If the insurance won’t cover that damage because the property wasn’t properly maintained, you’ll be stuck with the cost.

5 handy tips for maintaining your home

1. Paint the exterior as often as needed

Problems inside your home often come from outside. Painting the exterior not only keeps it looking attractive, but also adds an extra layer of weather protection to walls and fixtures.

Choose a high-quality exterior paint or varnish for weatherproofing and to reduce the risk of damp. How regularly you need to repaint depends on factors like the quality of the paint and local weather conditions.


Ensure no plants have started growing into the building or the perimeter wall


Watch out for these signs that the exterior needs to be repainted:

  • faded paint,
  • blistering paint,
  • peeling paint,
  • chalky, powdery paint and/or
  • exposed patches of wall.

2. Clean your chimney every year

Creosote, a highly flammable substance created by burning wood, can build up in your chimney over time and become a fire risk. A dirty chimney is also less efficient, so more smoke escapes from the fireplace and pollutes the air inside the house. If you regularly heat your home with wood fires in winter, have the chimney cleaned once a year to minimise the risk.

3. Ensure proper ventilation

Reduce damp and mould by opening windows to ventilate rooms, especially the bathroom and kitchen. It may be a good idea to invest in extractor fans for any damp rooms with poor ventilation.

4. Take care of your roof and gutters

Clear out your gutters regularly and ensure that the downpipes aren’t blocked, to prevent water damage to your roof. This is especially important in autumn, to ensure that the weight of built-up leaves doesn’t loosen the gutters. Check that the downpipe spouts point away from your walls to prevent damp. You should also inspect your roof for holes or leaks regularly, but especially after severe storms or hail.

5. Look after your garden

Trees, grass and weeds all have the knack of thrusting tiny roots into the cracks of concrete, bricks and wood, which grow steadily until they cause structural damage. Check your garden regularly to ensure no plants have started growing into the building or the perimeter wall. The quicker you remove such opportunistic invaders, the less damage they’ll cause.

If you would like to find out more about Nedbank’s homeowner’s insurance, contact us on 0860 333 111 or at