Insurance policy for low-income homeowners

Cover your property for R100 a month

The government does not provide for repairs for the life of your RDP home, which means it is a good idea to get some sort of cover for your property.

RDP houses in Ikageng, Tlokwe. Picture: FILE IMAGE/TSHEKO KABASIA
RDP houses in Ikageng, Tlokwe. Picture: FILE IMAGE/TSHEKO KABASIA

Millions of South Africans have become homeowners through the government’s housing subsidy scheme. 

Despite government reportedly spending over R1-billion in the last few years repairing shoddy work by contractors, there remains a long list of homeowners who’ve received homes only to discover damages down the road, leaving them financially exposed. 

Also, the government does not provide for repairs for the life of the property, which means it is a good idea for homeowners to get some sort of cover for their properties. 

“Most low-cost home families don’t have access to spare money, so if something goes wrong with their new houses they can’t afford to fix the problems themselves,” explains Bangi Makopo, the co-founder and director at Social Housing Initiative Cover (SHIC). 

To address this, SHIC offers a low-cost housing insurance policy for R100 a month. If your RDP house is worth less than R150,000, you are over the age of 21, a first time property owner and your household income is less than R3,500, you can take out this policy.

“The product gives protection against core property damage, excluding household contents and renovations made to the house after it has been handed over to the owner. It also includes a basic family funeral cover. Policy holders also have the option to take up additional, affordable cover for household content,” Makopo says.

You can therefore claim for damaged geysers, damage to the structure caused by fire, theft or any other form of material damage to the maximum value amount of R150,000.

And if you miss a premium payment? Makopo says just like any other insurance cover, if you fail to pay for a month you will not be covered for that month and will lose out on your benefits until you pay the premium for the missed month. 

Makopo says the company has worked hard to develop the product for South African communities who are in need of decent housing. If you are interested in the cover you can contact SHIC via its call centre on 010-900-1346 or its social media pages. 

SHIC was developed by Kunene Makopo Risk Solutions in partnership with Afribiz Invest, and is underwritten by the Constantia Insurance Company. 

Peter Nkhuna, senior assistant at the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance, says that there has not been any special insurance product for the low cost-housing market until now. 

He adds that he is excited about future developments in the space, with the South African Insurance Association also working on a micro-insurance project to deliver products aimed at consumers who currently do not have suitable products, such as those who live in low-cost homes.