Swimming Pool Pumps and Insurance

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How does my insurance cover swimming pool pumps?

Swimming pool pumps, gate openers, garage door openers and jacuzzi pumps are all in the same category.

Once again, please check your own policy, since the policy wording I use as a basis for this series is not the only option.

Building Section Of Household PolicyIt is important to know that these pumps and openers fall under the Building Section of the Policy. That raises the question: where is your house/building insured? Is it part of your personal lines policy with content and motor vehicles, or is it with the bank where your bond is? Read the right policy!


We will look at two optional extensions to give you better cover for Fixed Machinery and Appliances
Accidental damage to fixed machinery (Building Section)
Accidental Damage (Content Section)
            –  Mechanical, electrical or electronic breakdown 

Let’s look at the situation without the optional extensions.

A standard personal lines policy covers specific perils:

Insured events (Buildings)

We cover loss or damage caused by:
2.1 fire, lightning and explosion;
2.2 storm, wind, water, hail or snow.
We will not cover the following:

2.2.1 loss or damage caused by any process that uses or applies water;
2.2.2 loss or damage caused by wear and tear;
2.2.3 loss or damage caused by gradual deterioration;
2.2.4 loss or damage caused by mildew, rust or corrosion;
loss or damage caused by the contraction or expansion of soil due to its
moisture or water content, as experienced in clay and similar soil types.

2.3 earthquake;
2.4 bursting of water tanks, apparatus or pipes (including the damage to them);
2.5 impact with the
private residential structures by animals, vehicles, aircraft or aerial devices or other
objects falling from them, or falling trees except when felled by someone;
2.6 collapse or breakage of aerial systems and satellite dishes;
theft or attempted theft;
2.9 leakage of oil from oil heaters;
2.10 malicious damage, but
we do not cover malicious damage while your private residence is lent, let or sublet to a tenant;
2.11 subsidence or landslip. However,
we do not cover loss or damage:

2.11.1 to drains, water courses, boundary walls, garden walls, screen and retaining
walls, gate posts, gates and fences, driveways, paving, swimming pool borders
or tennis courts;

2.11.2 caused by the contraction or expansion of soil due to its moisture or water
content, as experienced in clay and similar soil types;
2.11.3 caused or made worse by faulty design, insufficient compacting of filling, poor
construction, or the removal or weakening of support to any building;
2.11.4 caused by structural alterations, additions or repairs;
2.11.5 caused by surface or subterranean excavations other than those performed in
the course of mining operations;
2.11.6 caused by normal settlement, shrinkage or expansion of the building.
we require it, you must prove that the loss or damage being claimed for was caused by subsidence or landslip.


But what happens if your garage door opener just stops working?

There is an option to extend the policy to add cover for these items. One insurer that I frequently use, offers this as standard. This option goes as follows:

Accidental damage to fixed machinery

We will compensate you for sudden and unexpected damage to fixed machinery installed at your risk address. The fixed machinery must be for domestic use only.
We will not cover:
1.1 depreciation;
1.2 gradual causes (such as wear and tear, rust, mildew, corrosion, decay);
1.3 loss or damage:
1.3.1 to windmills;
1.3.2 caused by household pests (such as rodents, ants and moths);
1.3.3 caused by cleaning, repairing or restoring by any manner or method;
1.3.4 to any data or telecommunication equipment or apparatus;
1.3.5 if covered by a manufacturer’s guarantee, purchase agreement or service contract.
Our compensation is limited to the amount shown in the Schedule.


Here is a very important fact that we need to understand. The standard building insurance is an INCLUSIVE policy. If the risk is not INCLUDED in the wording, it is not covered. Also called a “Perils Based Policy.”

This extension is an ALL RISK policy. It is EXCLUSIVE. In other words, if what ever happens to your swimming pool pump is not part of the WE WILL NOT COVER section, it has to be paid.


Somewhere during the winter my swimming pool pump stopped working. I am not sure why, but I have this extension on my policy. That means I can put in a claim. That claim must be supported by a damage report. The technician must provide a reason why, in his opinion, the pump stopped working. Rust, ants or the digs chewing will not be covered.

If the damage is not because of deterioration, ants, dogs or me tampering, the insurance must pay. There are only two “problems” with type of cover. First, I can never confirm a claim when a client asks me and, two, since you need damage reports, it can take a bit longer to settle the claim. Other than these  two small “problems,” it is excellent cover.

You can have similar extensions (for fridges, stoves, etc) under your content section, then it is called:

Accidental damage (CONTENT)

We will compensate you for accidental physical loss of, or damage to, your insured property while it is in your private residence or on your premises, up to the amount shown in the Schedule.
Cover for accidental damage excludes:
3.1 depreciation;
3.2 gradual causes such as wear and tear, rust, mildew, corrosion, decay;
3.3 loss or damage:
3.3.1 payable in terms of Basic cover;
3.3.2 caused by household pests (such as rodents, ants and moths);
3.3.3 caused because of cleaning, repairing or restoring by any manner or method;
3.3.4 of or to any tools, gardening implements, garden furniture;
3.3.5 of or to automatic swimming pool cleaning equipment;
3.3.6 of or to any portable computer equipment or cellular devices;
3.3.7 of or to any contents of refrigerators or freezers;
3.3.8 covered by any manufacturer’s guarantee, purchase agreement or service contract.
3.4 cracking or scratching of glass, glassware or any similar breakable article. This exclusion does not apply to jewellery, cameras, televisions or computer screens;
3.5 chipping or denting of furniture or domestic appliances;
3.6 the cost of reproduction or repair of data of any kind;

Electrical Mechanical Breakdown

“White Goods Insurance

3.7 mechanical, electrical or electronic breakdown (unless specifically shown as included in the Schedule under “accidental damage”).

Some people call it “white goods insurance” as fridges and stoves were traditionally white and this cover is aimed at appliances.


I trust that this helps you understand your policy better. As I have said, some insurers have this as a standard cover, with others you have to ask for it. It is best to confirm with your broker or insurer that you have this cover, if you want or need it.

Consider items in your house that might be damaged and the cost to repair. I recently had a claim of over R10 000 for a heat pump (electricity saving geyser.) Fortunately we disclosed the fact that the heat pump is part of the building and we need cover. We also increased the limit of Fixed Machinery to R15 000. The claim was paid


Any questions regarding short term insurance? Post them below or email me. Do me a favour, I love answering.



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