Loadshedding – how does it impact my home security and my insurance cover?

Every South African knows the frustrating feeling of having to plan their daily routine and tasks around a loadshedding schedule. Unfortunately, it seems like loadshedding is here to stay and you can only take certain precautions to alleviate some of the frustration and inconvenience this causes.

But did you know that loadshedding not only affects your day-to-day living, but also impacts your insurance cover? When the power cuts you run various risks such as burglary and when the power returns you run the risk of power surges destroying your connected appliances. So how do you navigate loadshedding in terms of your insurance?

 

  • Review time

The first thing you need to do is to review all your policies and check whether your policies sufficiently cover loadshedding in terms of loss and damage. It might be time to start comparing different service providers again or simply adding to your existing policy.

  • Check & maintain your alarm system

Power cuts render your alarm system useless if you don’t have a decent long-life battery. Power cuts can also damage batteries as well as the alarm system. Therefor you need to consistently check whether the alarm is working during and after loadshedding occurs. Let your alarm company know that they need to service the alarm system at least twice a year. And always keep an eye on the battery to see whether it still has enough battery power to sustain you through a loadshedding period. In many instances an insurance claim can be rejected if it is found that the alarm was off or not maintained.

  • Get a plan B

Electric fences and gates are also affected by power cuts; therefor it’s extremely important that you get back-up batteries that can still last between 6-8 hours when loadshedding occurs. As with your alarm system battery this needs regular maintenance and checking. In many instances an insurance claim can be rejected if it is found that the fence and gate was not working or not maintained.

  • Solar power

Prevention is always better than cure. Since opportunistic criminals use loadshedding to their advantage, it’s a good idea to invest in solar powered lights – especially around the perimeters of your home outside.

  • Unplug and protect

Power surges when the power has been restored can not only damage or destroy expensive appliances, but also puts your entire home at risk of fire. Unplug appliances during loadshedding and invest in surge protectors.

Surge protection on the main power distribution board of residences have proven effective over many years. The process of continuously claiming for the replacement of various electric household appliances due to power surge damage will be accompanied by frustrating processes as well as the increase of insurance premiums. Proper protection of your main distribution board will probably save you lots of time and money over the longer run.

If you would like further information regarding loadshedding and your insurance or would like help reviewing your current policies please contact us here.