Claiming from insurance due to load shedding Eskomplicated! – How to avoid a decline
With loadshedding back recently and, very likely, here to stay for the winter period, going about our daily lives with erratic power cuts is something we all need to be prepared for.
This is especially true when it comes to our insurance cover. Increased security risks, electrical surge related damage and spoilage of refrigerated items (more applicable to businesses) are just some of the things that individuals have to deal with.
However, more often than not, people may be unaware that their policy does not necessarily cover loadshedding related loss or damage.
Here are a few tips to prevent damage from happening in the first place and reducing the chances of insurance companies leaving you in the dark:
1. Unplug sensitive equipment. The easiest and most effective way of protecting expensive electrical appliances that are sensitive to power surges is to simply unplug them. Examples of items that should be unplugged include cell phones, laptops, PCs, and LCD screens, which all can be damaged once the power comes back on.
2. Install Inverters. While this is arguably an expensive solution, inverters can be an important tool in one’s load shedding arsenal. Not only could these prevent you from being left in utter darkness but more importantly they can be used to keep electric fences and gates operational. Thereby helping ensure your safety. Inverters may also be a safer option than generators. Here is why…
3. Watch out for the Generators. First and foremost, they can be a serious health hazard. Generators can be dangerous if not placed in a well-ventilated area because of the carbon monoxide emissions. The heat generated or faulty connections can also result in significant fire damage. Insurance will not cover any accidents related to negligence. It is, therefore, essential that generators are professionally installed by a registered service provider.
4. Ensure that your house/business is secure. Criminals often take full advantage of the cover of darkness that load shedding provides, meaning that you have to take extra care. For example, you must remain vigilant, use solar-powered or battery-operated appliances to keep your premises lit and manually secure your property gate with a padlock. All of these extra precautions not only reduce the risk of theft occurring in the first place but will make claiming a lot easier if a theft does occur.
5. Test your alarm system. Sticking to the theme of theft, it is good practice to test whether your alarm system is up and running. Load shedding can significantly affect the lifespan of your alarm power pack and batteries. This may result in false alarms or even a malfunction altogether. Insurance companies often require that you perform a functionality test once or twice a year. Failure to do so could result in a declined insurance claim.
The take-home message is to check your policy documents carefully to ensure that you are sufficiently covered to reduce the risk of financial loss resulting from blackouts.
Contact a PBA financial advisor to not only check what is covered in the event of loss or damage that occurs during load shedding but also to evaluate what additional coverage you may need. Finally and, most importantly, hang in there!
Phone: 011 803 9686