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Insuring Against FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup ?

Article by listed broker Mandy Weetman

South Africans are gearing themselves up for the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup. While many a Euro-possessing soccer-crazed fan will be looking for a place to stay during this period, South Africans are thinking to cash in on this bonanza by providing accommodation in hotels, bed and breakfasts and their homes, or part thereof.

Here are some guidelines to assist you during this period:

Insurance: By not taking out appropriate insurance cover or ensuring that your existing insurance cover is adequate, you may be leaving yourself wide open to potential risks of loss or damage to your property and more importantly, the exposure to liability claims from paying guests or tenants.. This would mean that all your “easy-earned” money may have to be used to pay for your loss/damage or liability claim and could put you out of business or even your home.

Consult your Broker so that they can assist you with advice and the necessary cover so as to avoid the risk of a claim being repudiated due to non-disclosure or relevant cover not being amended or added to the policy. Your domestic policy may have certain exclusions that may have to be considered. It might be in the homeowner’s best interest to take out landlord insurance . Such landlord or tenants insurance covers damages caused by tenants as well as tenants who default on payments and any legal fees that may be entered into while recovering payment. In this case, rather take rental payment up front. Your Broker is there to advise on covers and to discuss and negotiate the matter on your behalf with the Insurers. Insurers may not necessary change the current policy or increase the premium rate, but excesses, terms and conditions during the leasing period may be amended. Additional covers for hotels and bed and breakfasts could include insurance cover against cancellations, staff stay-away or failure of essential equipment e.g. air conditioners or heater etc. Increasing Sums Insured and Indemnity Limits under the Liability Section (e.g. General, Property, Food Poisoning) would be in your best interest too – try to buy the highest liability cover that you can afford. Tourists are not obliged to sue you here in South Africa, but you could find yourself being sued in another country where liability awards are likely to be much larger.

Make sure that you fully disclose your intentions during the 2010 soccer period and that you are adequately insured against any possible incident or event that could occur while soccer fans live on your property. Don’t decide to leave out crucial cover to save on premiums.

Leasing Agents: MATCH Services AG, the professional services company appointed by FIFA to provide accommodation for the World Cup, is focusing only on accommodation graded by the Tourism Grading Council of SA. Many are referring to this as a lucrative opportunity for local realtors and homeowners. It is very important that homeowners don’t lease on their own, but to rather go through an approved leasing agent with a good track record. However, please first make sure with your Insurance Broker that this is your intention and obtain confirmation in writing. You need to know what you are covered for in order to determine how much risk you are taking on. Homeowners must ensure that they understand the contract between themselves and the leasing agent and that both Agent and Homeowner’s obligations are clear and spelt out. For example, you would not want the Agent to rent out your home to eight 21 year olds ! Homeowners must also ensure that the contract they have with tenants is as comprehensive as possible. The clearer the contract, the less chance for ugly disputes later. As you cannot take everything with you, rather store valuables or breakables away in a locked room. Visiting your property at least once a week would be advisable.

Housing Hooligans: It is a known fact that soccer fans cause hundreds of thousands of Rands worth of damage to property and the sport has a history of hooliganism. In the last five seasons and in England alone, there has been an average of 3 350 arrests made as a result of violent behavior and property destruction. Tenants unfortunately do not look after properties as carefully as owners and when fuelled by alcohol, destruction to property becomes inevitable.

May the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup be a great event to remember here in our beautiful Country!