Loadshedding is more than just a nuisance. For South African consumers, it’s hitting the wallet hard. Of late, King Price Insurance has seen a 100% increase in claims for appliance damage caused by power surges. And with Eskom’s finances dwindling, as revealed in its State of the System Presentation, the situation may worsen.
This alert comes from Wynand van Vuuren, client experience partner at King Price Insurance, who states the company has paid over R21 million in claims within the past 14 months*. This sum solely relates to damages incurred through power surges and dips affecting residential buildings, home contents, and portable possessions, excluding lightning-related and large commercial claims.
‘We’re witnessing a flood of claims for ‘fried’ computer equipment, fridges, TVs, and even distribution boards caused by power surges,’ warns Van Vuuren. ‘However, there are several measures you can adopt to protect your pricey appliances.’
Unplug your devices
Unplugging your appliances when they’re not in use or during a power outage is the simplest, cheapest, and most effective method to shield them from power surges. According to Van Vuuren, this provides you with 100% surge protection.
Invest in surge protection
Optimum surge protectors are linked directly to your distribution board by a certified electrician. These protectors redirect any excess power into a grounding wire. You can also utilise surge protector strips for all your plugs, safeguarding against surges triggered by power restoration after an outage or lightning strikes.
Set up a UPS system
A UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system can significantly help in protecting your high-value appliances. It allows your devices to shut down properly when power cuts off and shields them from potential surges when power is restored.
Use alternative power supplies correctly
Alternative power supplies need to adhere to safety guidelines and should be installed by a registered electrician. Portable generators are affordable and user-friendly but must be connected properly to your power supply. ‘Back-feeding’, or simply plugging a generator into a house plug, is unsafe and might lead to damages not covered by your insurer.
Review your insurance
Van Vuuren highlights the importance of checking your home contents insurance to see what’s covered in the event of power surge damages. Consumers should generally be able to claim these damages directly from their municipality, but that’s not always feasible. If you’re insured for electrical damage due to power surges and dips, you can claim directly from your insurer, who will then reclaim from the municipality on your behalf.
You can click here to see what King Price covers when it comes to buildings (sometimes called homeowners’) insurance, and here to see how we cover your home contents. We even have a handy home contents inventory checklist, so that you can value your home contents correctly when insuring them.
You can click here or WhatsApp us on 0860 50 50 50 to get a commitment-free quote to insure your home (buildings), home contents, and more.
*As at November 2022