South Africans continue to contend with power cuts, and it’s likely that we’ll face bouts of load-shedding long into the future.
A part of the bigger picture is that appliances can be damaged by power outages. Compromised alarm systems can increase the likelihood of break-ins and non-functioning traffic lights increase the risk of road accidents.
Please use the content below to help your customers ensure that their insurance covers all eventualities related to load-shedding.
Load-shedding: take charge to ensure you’re covered
Whether we like it or not, South Africans will have to live with power outages for the foreseeable future.
So, say there’s load-shedding and your fridge is damaged by a power surge. What are the insurance implications?
The reality is that appliances can be damaged by fluctuations in electrical current in the first few seconds after power is restored after load-shedding (and not by the power cut itself). Most electrical components require a stable current to function optimally. Once load-shedding ends, it takes some time for the current to stabilise.
So, when are you covered against damage, and when not?
Personal possessions are insured for power surges under household contents cover, including items that can be damaged if plugged in during a power surge. In the case of smart homes, power surges can seriously affect a whole household’s systems, leading to major losses.
It’s important that you familiarise yourself with your policy wording, which may contain provisions around precautions you should take to protect your belongings.
Top tips to prevent loss related to load-shedding
- Turn off all appliances – even better, unplug them and wait a minute after the power comes on before plugging them back in.
- Switch fridges and freezers off before load-shedding so the compressor can depressurise. Once the power returns, wait 30 seconds to a minute before switching them back on.
- Heaters, hair dryers and ovens that are left on during power cuts can cause fires once the power returns. Switch them off and disconnect the plugs.
- Make sure alarm systems, electric gates and electric fences have functional batteries as there is an increased risk of burglaries during load-shedding.
- Make sure your insurance policy covers you appropriately for your needs.
When the time comes to claim
Hollard has noted a significant increase in claims resulting from load-shedding – many relate to power surges, failing fridge and freezer compressors, fire claims and motor vehicle accidents.
Ultimately, what really matters is that you:
- familiarise yourself with your policy’s terms and conditions, so that you know what you are covered for;
- what your responsibilities are; and
- to avoid the rejection of a claim at a time when you least need it.
This is where a broker’s expert advice and support are critical to ensure you take up cover that best suits your needs when load-shedding hits.
Should you have any questions about your insurance and power cuts, speak to your broker today. #LongLiveTheBroker