Property Insurance: Who Has You Covered?

It’s all insured – right? Anyone who owns property knows that squeezing money out of your insurance company is not always as easy as it sounds. Three stories from the files of Creative Estates Israel show what can happen if you depend on an Israeli insurance company for your Israel property insurance.

It does sometimes rain in Israel – not often, but when it rains, it pours, often for days at a time. When you own a top floor apartment you might think that your insurance would cover you for damage to your ceilings caused by rain. One of our clients thought that his apartment was covered, but when the rain poured in on his tenants and their possessions, his insurers told him that nothing was covered!

The roof of a building is the responsibility of the building managers – in this case the management committee run by the various apartment owners – Va’ad HaBayit. We helped our client to sue them for not maintaining the roof adequately, and the building’s insurance company paid out to cover the cost of fixing all the damage to the apartment. The tenants should have had their own contents insured to pay for damages to their bed, clothes and computer, but they didn’t. We were able to calm the angry tenants down, show them the relevant clause in their contract, and prevent them from suing our client.

In another water-related incident, we were asked to come in and rescue a property where leaking pipes had not been fixed. Under their insurance policy, the owner was obligated to use their insurers’ chosen maintenance company. Their workers made a huge mess, breaking tiles and leaving walls and floors opened up for weeks on end, and not turning up to fix them when they had arranged to come. They caused major inconvenience to the tenant family and endangered the safety of their children. The tenants sued the property owner, and we are now suing the insurance company on behalf of the owner to recover the damages that the tenants are justifiably demanding from him.

We always recommend to our clients that they pay the extra 5% insurance premium that allows them to use their own maintenance team when something goes wrong – and our maintenance team is always available, 24/7, to do an excellent job of putting it right.

In our third water-related incident, a garden apartment that we manage became flooded. We sent our maintenance company to find the source of the problem, which was the irrigation system in the neighboring garden. We didn’t wait for them to call their insurers – we fixed it there and then and sent them the bill. They can either reimburse us themselves or claim from their insurers.

When you own property in Israel, you can’t assume that your insurance policy has you covered. You need Creative Estates to take proper care of your property, to deal with the tenants, the neighbors, the building committee and the insurance companies on your behalf.

Click here to read an article on about Dos and Dont’s for Landlords in which Shaun Isaacson of Creative Estates Israel is quoted.