Load shedding and your insurance

Just when you thought there was light at the end of the tunnel, Eskom has warned that load shedding is back. This is bad news for South Africans, because not only does load shedding impede on our daily lives; it can also damage our electronic equipment, resulting in unfortunate insurance claims. This article tackles load shedding and your insurance.

Load Shedding and Your Insurance – Consumers at risk

Consumers are at a higher risk from load shedding and may suffer damage to equipment brought on by power surges or loss of goods because of theft or burglary during blackouts.

Therefore, consumers need to be proactive. They should speak to their broker or insurer to ensure they have adequate covered for the risks affecting them.

Load Shedding and Your InsuranceChristelle Colman, is the Executive for High-Net-Worth Solutions at Old Mutual Insure.She urges consumers to ensure they are adequately covered. They should make sure their policy includes specific risks that are unique to load shedding.

“In the case of load shedding, for example, the battery of the alarm system plays a major role. Policyholders should ensure that their alarm system batteries are tested regularly to ensure maximum protection. Also, load shedding can dramatically reduce the lifespan of an alarm battery. So should if the battery is older than one year, consumers should either replace or check the battery.”

Load Shedding and Your Insurance – Necessary Precautions

When consumers are underinsured for certain load shedding risks and have not taken the necessary safety precautions, it could lead to further frustration when an insurance company is unable to settle a claim.

“When the load shedding period ends and electricity has returned, in most cases a power surge occurs due to a boost in the electrical charge in the power lines, increasing the current flow of electricity to the wall outlet. As a result, appliances and other electronic devices in households might short-circuit or malfunction.  It is also important to note that these power surges can lead to electrical fires, with the entire house at risk of burning down.  We saw a number of home fires during the previous period of sustained loadshedding,” adds Colman.

Load Shedding and Your Insurance – Helpful Tips

She provides the following helpful tips that South Africans should follow to protect their electronics during load shedding:

  • Unplug appliances that are not in use;
  • Install surge protectors to prevent power surge damage;
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep frozen food safe from spoilage;
  • Test your alarm system and back up battery regularly:
  • Ensure that electric fencing and gates still work during a blackout;
  • Request more regular patrols and checks from your security company;
  • Be vigilant when driving at night in unknown areas, as it can be difficult to see where traffic lights are when the lights are down and this can lead to severe motor vehicle accidents;
  • Keep your phone battery charged at all times and have your home and roadside emergency numbers handy to ensure quick access to emergency services need be.

Load shedding is a reality that may affect us for the foreseeable future. Therefore, ensure that you are adequately covered for all the risks and are taking the right steps to safeguard your household.

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