The full effects of load shedding are now beginning to hit home as a new security threat takes root. Insurance firms have also seen an increase in load shedding claims.
Criminals are now taking advantage of non-functional alarms and electric fences in locations affected by the power outages to stage their crimes.
Besides the security risks, load-shedding brings, there is also damage to home appliances due to power surges.
Many people complain that when restored, the power comes at a higher than standard voltage. Destroying their refrigerators, microwaves, TVs and other sensitive electronics. These surges have also been known to cause fires in some homes.
Insurance firms, left in the dark, speak out on load shedding claims
Insurance companies have seen a rise in home theft claims since load shedding began. They insist they will not withhold claims for burglaries brought on by the power-rationing programme.
Claims from damage caused by power surges had also risen significantly since the programme began.
The CEO for Mua Insurance Acceptance, Christelle Fourie, pointed out that claims had gone up by as much as 2,000. One such claim was that of a homeowner in KwaZulu-Natal. A hair-dryer caught fire when the power returned and burnt down the house.
These extra load-shedding related claims are weighing down on insurance firms. The added claims have amounted to tens of millions of Rand for Mua, according to Fourie.
Load shedding claims and crime
Insurance firms are having a hard time telling valid claims from fake claims as there are clients taking advantage of the crisis. And that’s quite aside from burglars and other petty thieves who avoid capture when security systems go down.
There is no denying that the energy crisis is having a severe effect on the economy, taking into account all these knock-on effects. This stretches insurance firms and weakens the economy as a whole.
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