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Fire and Allied Perils
It is necessary to understand the exact meaning of the word ‘fire’ as used in insurance parlance. A ‘fire’ as covered under a Fire Policy, is said to have occurred when the following conditions are satisfied:
- There is actual ignition of property.
- There must be something on fire which ought not to have been on fire.
- The fire must have occurred under accidental circumstances, so far as the insured is concerned.
Once a ‘fire’ as meant by the policy has occurred, certain other types of losses automatically come within the scope of the Fire Policy.
- Damage during or immediately following a fire caused by smoke, scorching, falling walls
- Damage caused by the Fire Brigades in the discharge of their duties
- Damage to property insured by exposure to weather caused as a result of removal of property from a burning building in an effort to mitigate the loss
Fire insurance policy gives coverage for the following perils:
- Limited explosion i.e. gas used for illuminating or domestic purposes
Exclusions in Fire Policies
The standard Fire Insurance Policy does not cover:-
- Loss or damage to property occasioned by its own fermentation, natural heating or spontaneous combustion or by its undergoing any heating or drying process.
- Loss by theft during or after the occurrence of a fire.
- Loss or damage occasioned by or through or in consequence of.-
- The burning of property by order of any public authority
- Subterranean Fire
- Loss or damage directly or indirectly caused by or arising from or in consequence of or contributed to by nuclear weapons material.
- Loss or damage directly or indirectly caused by or arising from or in consequence of or contributed to by ionising radiations or contamination by radioactivity from any nuclear fuel or from any nuclear waste from the combustion of nuclear fuel. For the purposes of this exclusion only combustion shall include any self-sustaining process of nuclear fission.
- Loss or damage to any electrical machinery, apparatus, fixtures and fittings (includes electrical fans, electrical household or domestic appliances, etc) or to any of the electrical installations, arising from or occasioned by over running, excessive pressure, short-circuiting, self-heating, arching, or leakage of electricity from whatever cause (lightening included).
- Any loss or damage occasioned by or through or in consequence, directly or indirectly, of any of the following occurrences, namely:-
- Earthquake, volcanic eruption or other convulsion of nature.
- Typhoon, hurricane, tornado, cyclone or other atmospheric disturbance.
- War, invasion, act of foreign enemy, hostilities or warlike operatives (whether war be declared or not) civil war.
- Mutiny, riot, military or popular rising, insurrection, rebellion, revolution, military or usurped power martial law or state of siege or any of the events or causes which determine the proclamation or maintenance of martial law or state of siege.
- Unless or otherwise expressly stated in the policy loss or damage to:-
- Goods held in trust or on commission
- Bullion or unset precious stones
- Any curiosity or work of art for an amount exceeding KShs. 400.
- Manuscript, plans, drawings or designs, patterns, models or moulds.
- Securities, obligations, or documents of any kind, stamps, coined or paper money, cheques books of account or other business books.
- Coal against loss or damage occasioned by its spontaneous combustion.
- Any loss or damage occasioned by or through or in consequence of the explosion, but loss or damage by explosion of gas used for illuminating or domestic purposes in a building in which gas is not generated and which does not form part of any gas works, will be deemed to be loss by fire within the meaning of the policy.
- Any loss or damage occasioned by or through or in consequence of the burning whether accidental or otherwise of forests, bush, prairie, pampas or jungle, and the clearing of land by fire.
- Property insured if removed to any building or place other than in which it is herein stated to be insured.
- Building insured becoming unoccupied and remaining so for a period of more than 30 days.
- The property is changed in such a way as to increase the risk of loss or damage by fire.
- Interest in the property insured passing from the Assured otherwise than by will or operation of law.
Extensions to the Fire Policy
Some of the above exclusions can be covered by payment of additional premium.
These are: –
1. Riot and Strike
Subject to special conditions given in the company’s endorsements the fire insurance can be extended to include loss of or damage to the property insured by fire or otherwise directly caused by explosion, but excluding loss and damage to boilers, economizers, or other vessels, machinery or apparatus in which pressure is used or their contents resulting from their explosion.
3. Special Perils
Loss or damage due to the following causes, subject to the special conditions contained in the company’s endorsements can also be obtained.
- Hail, Snow, Wind, Hurricane, Cyclone, Tornado or Typhoon
- Rain, provided the building(s) in respect of which the claim is made or containing the property in respect of which the claim is made is so damaged by any of the perils specified in supra (a) as to admit rain water to the interior of the said building(s).
- Flood, which shall mean:- The overflowing or deviation from their normal channels of either natural or artificial water courses, and any flow or accumulation of water on the ground except when such flow or accumulation be of water, emitted from any water supply mains, tap pipe, valve or the like, save as referred to in (d) and (e) below: –
- Overflowing of guttering and down pipes or bursting or over-flowing of Municipal or other public water supply mains.
- Bursting or overflowing and water tanks, apparatus or pipes excluding damage thereto.
- Aircraft or other aerial devices/or articles dropped there from.
- Impact with any of the said building(s) insured under this policy and/any walls, gates and fences around and pertaining thereto by any road vehicles, horses or cattle not belonging to or under the control of the insured, his agent or servant.
- Subterranean Fire
4. Spontaneous Combustion
Damage or destruction by fire only to the insureds interest caused by its own spontaneous fermentation, heating or combustion can be given as an extension to the policy.
5. Bush Fire
The policy can be extended to cover the loss or damage to the property occasioned by or through or in consequence of the burning of forests, bush, prairies, pampas or jungle and the clearing of lands by fire (except where such clearing is done by or on behalf of the insured).
The fire policy can be extended to cover the earthquake risks and the following two types of cover are available:-
- Earthquake Fire
Loss or damage by fire occasioned by earthquake. In every case of loss or damage the insured must prove that no part of the loss or damage claimed for was caused otherwise than by fire.
- Earthquake Shock
Loss or damage other than by fire occasioned by earthquake or volcanic eruption.