Will my shade sail be covered by my insurance?
It’s a question we get asked a lot, so we’ve put together a handy guide to help you understand insurance and your shade sail. We know that making sense of your insurance policy can be difficult at the best of times and we’re here to help, but there are a lot of policies out there and they’re all different. For detailed information on your policy, it’s best to talk to your insurance provider.
Is a shade sail insured as part of the home or contents?
Some insurers make it easy by specifically defining or naming shade sails in their policy documents. For example, the RACQ includes shade sails as outdoor items they will cover as part of your home. However, most insurers don’t do this, in fact, many don’t even consider your shade sail a permanent part of your home. Insurers generally include permanent fixtures as part of your home building insurance. But what makes a fixture permanent? Generally, a fixture is defined as an item permanently attached to your home that can’t be removed without causing damage. By that definition, your shade sail itself isn’t covered by building insurance and so becomes part of the contents of your home.
If there is sail hardware attached to your home or garage, those could be part of your building policy. Any additional structures for your shade sail are also usually covered by your home insurance. There can be exclusions though so check your policy for the different kinds of structures covered and the limits for them.
When is the shade sail insured?
Once you know how your shade sail is categorised by your insurers, the hard part is over. Next, check your policy for any specific inclusions or exclusion for shade sails in insured events. At Westpac, their storm cover includes loss or damage to a shade sail if it was professionally installed within the last 5 years. Whereas RACQ specifically excludes loss or damage to shade sails under flood and storm surge cover. Where your policy doesn’t list shade sails it generally means that your sail is insured under the policy. If your sail is covered by your home building policy then those protections for insured events apply. For example, if the policy included impact cover and a tree falls and damages the sail you’ll be able to make a claim.
There can be some exclusions and limits if your sail is part of your contents. Some policies won’t cover any contents left outside. Even though shade sails are designed to be left out in the elements, damage to your sail won’t be covered. Other policies make exceptions for items designed for outdoor use, but these can be limited. They may refuse to cover some insured events, such as theft or storms, they could cap the payout at a fixed amount or reduce it by as much as 80% for contents that are left outdoors. Remember to speak with your insurer, you don’t always have to change provider to get better protection, many companies have tiers of insurance or optional extras that can increase the coverage for your shade sail.
What’s the right insurance?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer here, your insurance needs are unique to you. If your shade sail and structure are covered under a building policy it will usually have broader protection. If it’s insured by both your home and contents policies, there can be exclusions you need to watch out for. Stay informed and understand your policy, and you’ll quickly see if your insurance is working for you and your situation.
Remember we’ve only looked at general home and contents policies here. Specialised cover options are also worth considering, many insurers adjust policies to account for high-value or specialist items. Talk to your provider and you might be able to get an altered policy that better caters to you and your shade sail.
Insurance repairs and replacements with Northside Shade Sails
If your shade sail has hail, wind, storm or fire damage and is covered by your insurance policy we can help. Northside Shade Sails can provide an insurance quote to replace your shade sail. Our local expert installers are committed to delivering insurance replacements for your shade sail quickly and within your budget.
Our superior quality shade sails are made with hard-wearing fabric and marine-grade stainless steel fittings. They’re designed to be resilient, stable and long-lasting in the unpredictable Queensland weather. With our unrivalled 10-year warranty on the fabric and stitching, your insurance replacement is in safe hands with Northside Shade Sails.