Are you sufficiently covered against load shedding?

Feb 19, 2019 | , , | News

Load shedding has become synonymous in daily South African life – our lives are ruled by the various load shedding stages and days are planned meticulously around the time tables allocated for load shedding as conveyed by various media outlets and mobile Applications.

Load shedding is not only an inconvenience; it can also pose a danger to the general public inside their homes. One of the areas of concern are household appliances.

 

Load shedding has become synonymous in daily South African life – our lives are ruled by the various load shedding stages and days are planned meticulously around the time tables allocated for load shedding as conveyed by various media outlets and mobile Applications.

Load shedding is not only an inconvenience; it can also pose a danger to the general public inside their homes. One of the areas of concern are household appliances.

Load shedding can cause damage to electrical appliances resulting in insurance claims and loss of goods because of theft or burglary may also occur.

Upon the load shedding period ending and electricity being restored to certain areas, a power surge can occur due to a boost in the electrical charge in the power grid and lines. A power surge increases the current flow of electricity to plug points and can result in household appliances and other electronic equipment short-circuiting or malfunctioning. Power surges can be so powerful that it can lead to electrical fires, with the result that an entire house is at risk of burning down.

Presently, any claims individuals may have for losses or damages caused by load shedding must be claimed from their respective insurance companies and not directly from Eskom.

It is therefore vitally important that one ensures that you are adequately covered in terms of your insurance policy. If you are underinsured for certain risks associated with load shedding and you have failed to take the necessary safety precautions, it can lead to frustration when your insurance claim is rejected or not being settled by your insurance company.

 

The following steps can be followed to protect your household appliances and electronic equipment during load shedding:

  • Install surge protectors to prevent damage from power surges;
  • Unplug appliances which are not in use or necessary;
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed during load shedding to prevent spoiled food;
  • Ensure your electric gate and fence work during load shedding;
  • Be vigilant while driving at night in areas that are not well known to you in order to prevent a car accident;
  • Keep your cellphone charged at all times and have all emergency numbers at hand.

 

It is also advisable that the battery of an alarm system used in private homes are tested regularly to ensure that alarm systems and the back-up battery will continue operating during periods of load shedding. 

Some insurance firms have even suggested that surge protection be installed on the main distribution boards of households. This installation can be attended to by a qualified electrician. Some insurance policies have surge-protection specified as a requirement for cover. It is therefore extremely important that the wording of an insurance policy be carefully scrutinised.

Santam has surge protection as an optional extra for cover in terms of an insurance policy. Marius Neethling, Personal Lines Underwriting Manager at Santam has said that “Santam is ready to assist policyholders with any claims resulting from power cuts. For example, if additional cover is taken out, we will protect household contents against power surges.”

In the event that a power surge has occurred and your household appliances or electronic devices no longer work, a claim will have to be lodged with your respective insurance company.

Therefore, it is prudent to be proactive and to ensure that your insurance policies are up to date and that your household appliances and electronic equipment is sufficiently covered by your insurance policy so that you are not left out of pocket.


Author:
 Tarryn Howard 

Sources: HuffPost | BusinessLive

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