Homeowners need to review their insurance policies to see what is covered in the event of loss or damage to their home or its contents during a blackout. From traffic accidents to power surges, rolling blackouts caused by Eskom’s potential load shedding pose a number of risks at home and at work. As you will undoubtedly be aware, the two most common risks associated with load shedding in South Africa are the potential damage to household appliances and the safety threat of security system malfunctions as a result of the lights going out. Be wise and speak to your Insurance broker about any additional cover that may be needed.
According to Vera Nagtegaal, Executive Head of Hippo.co.za, power cuts do not just cause inconvenience in terms of not having electricity when you need it. “They can also cause irreparable damage to your appliances and can cause electrical fires through power surges, if appliances have been accidentally left on during load shedding. It is always a good idea to unplug appliances, or any other electronic devices, when the electricity goes out as these devices are vulnerable to power surges. These appliances, which include cell phones and computer equipment, can be badly damaged when the power comes back on due to a spike in electricity flow.
Following the recent countrywide implementation of regular load shedding, it is important to take caution on how to protect yourself, your properties and valued belongings during these uncertain times. Because the load shedding timetables are open to the public, criminals unfortunately may see blackouts as an opportune time to undertake illegal activities. As such, extra vigilance is required, particularly when arriving or leaving the home in the evenings. Keep a torch in your car should you arrive home in the dark and need to open your perimeter security gate manually.
Power surges occur when something boosts the electrical charge at some point in the power lines. “This causes an increase in the electrical potential energy, which can increase the current flowing to your wall outlet. When this happens, it can cause appliances and other electronic devices to short-circuit, malfunction or even be destroyed – ultimately rendering them unusable,” she said.
Household contents policies generally have cover in place for damage to electrical equipment and appliances as a result of lightening damage, but deliberate withdrawals of power that cause power surges may not be covered.
Short term insurance in South Africa is no longer optional. Contact Status Insurance Brokers located in Paarl today and find out how they will be able to structure the right insurance cover for your needs.
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