What is an ‘insured peril’ on an insurance policy?

'Peril’ is a word not many people use anymore, but it simply means ‘danger’. When used in an insurance policy, a peril is any event that can cause damage or loss. An insured peril is a risk that is covered under the policy, while an uninsured peril is not. Insured perils, for example, often include fire and theft, so if one of these results in a partial or total loss of the property, the policy covers the damage.

It is important that you understand exactly what the policy considers insured and uninsured perils, so that you know which events you can claim for before you sign up for any kind of insurance.

Generally speaking, an uninsured peril is something that could cause foreseeable damage if the property is not properly maintained, like rising damp causing paint to peel off walls. This type of damage can be expected under the circumstances.

An insured peril, on the other hand, causes unforeseen damage and therefore can be claimed for.

Some examples of insured perils

There are endless types of perils, and no one can be covered against all of them. Here’s a list of some more common perils covered by various types of insurance policies:

Household perils

  • Burst, leaking or overflowing geysers.
  • Burst or leaking water pipes.
  • Impact by animals, trees, aerials, satellite dishes or vehicles.

Natural perils

  • Fire.
  • Lightning.
  • Explosion.
  • Storm, wind, hail or snow.
  • Earthquake or tremor as a result of mining activity.
  • Flood.


Ensure that any insurance policy you take out includes the right insured perils for your needs


Perils as a result of human actions

  • Burglary (provided preventative security measures were in place).
  • Vandalism or malicious acts.

Some examples of uninsured perils

You should check the uninsured perils carefully when you’re weighing up different insurance options, so that you know which risks are not covered. Here’s a list of common uninsured perils:

  • Wear and tear, depreciation, gradual deterioration or any other decline in performance caused by regular use over time.
  • Pre-existing damage before the policy is taken out.
  • Damage caused by roots or weeds.
  • Damage caused by pests, damp, mould or rot.
  • The cost of maintenance or reasonable measures that you must take to prevent damage or loss.

To sum up
A peril is any potential cause of loss or damage, so you need to ensure that any insurance policy you take out includes the right insured perils for your needs. For more information on buildings insurance, contact us on 0860 333 111 or at insurance@nedbank.co.za