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Planned power outages & insurance claims

Category Insurance Advice

It is that time again; the national energy provider has warned that we may expect planned power outages countrywide as the festive season draws to a close and everyone returns to work.

Many parts of the country experienced this last year, says Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution, PSG Insure, making now a good time to recap the effect these power outages could have on your short-term insurance coverage.

What happens if your electric fence or alarm doesn't work due to a power outage, and someone breaks into your house? Especially if a connected alarm is a prerequisite for coverage according to your policy. And what if the electronic equipment burns out due to a power congestion?

Visser says there are various precautionary measures that can be taken to maintain your coverage and prevent losses or to ensure that losses are indeed covered.

Most insurers do not cover losses due to intentional or load shedding maintenance or repairs. It is the responsibility of the insuree to ensure that alarm devices and supporting devices like batteries are in working order.

Visser says the insuree must ensure that he or she takes out additional coverage, if possible, to cover these types of losses under other accidental damage or events.

When it comes to insurance and load shedding, he says homeowners should take the following into consideration:

Alarms and electric fencing

It is important that policy holders ensure that the battery of the alarm system and electric fencing is fully charged at all times. Most batteries can keep the system going for at least eight hours, and in some cases even as long as 24 hours.

Clients can also take additional precautionary measures to protect their homes by locking gates and garage doors with locks during power outages.

Power congestions

Power outages are usually coupled with power congestions that can destroy electronic equipment. Coverage is not always included as standard on all policies, and Visser therefore advises that you confirm with your broker or insurer what their specific coverage and limits entail in the event of power congestion.

Swimming pool pumps and gate motors can be covered if optional extended coverage is taken out for accidental damage.

Clients can also install power congestion isolators on their main power distribution board in their homes or business premises to limit or prevent damage. This will assist in limiting damage to items like computers, fridges, gate motors and swimming pool pumps.

Power congestion isolators can also help limit lightning damage in the summer, especially on the Highveld. Various insurers also offer services to advise you on how to prevent or limit power congestions. Ask your broker for advice regarding these insurers, he says.

You can take out utility services coverage at a nominal fee per month. This allows homeowners to contact a central number to call out suppliers or repairmen to do repair work on the premises if items or devices are damaged due to possible power congestions.

Content of freezers and fridges

Fridges and freezers usually keep their content cold for at least 24 hours if the doors are not constantly opened. Therefore, in most cases, insurers will not pay for the loss or spoilage of food within this period of time.

If you’re going on holiday, Visser says you should ask a friend or neighbour who is not going away to keep an eye on electric devices should power congestions occur while you are enjoying a well-deserved break away.

Feel free to ask your broker if your coverage for accidental damage is sufficient.

Source  -  Property24

 

Author: Bertus Visser

Submitted 21 Jan 15 / Views 4068

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