It’s not uncommon for most people to think that South African winters are mild in comparison to winters in other countries north of the equator, such as in Europe. However, they couldn’t be more mistaken.
Winter-related claims could in fact constitute a large portion of your claims as extreme weather events become more frequent and severe. 1 Mould, frost and fire, are just some of the unforeseen perils you need to be prepared for and covered against in the case of damage.
It’s prudent to take reasonable steps to protect your property and maintain your home. This helps prevent accidents which could otherwise have quite easily been avoided, during bad weather events. In the event that the worst does occur this winter, you need to make sure that your insurance policy adequately covers you and safeguards you against the following:
1. Power outages and generators can wreak havoc on your appliances
Your appliances, especially those with a motor, tend to draw a lot of power. With the load shedding that we have been experiencing recently and the use of generators, you need to be aware of, and safeguard against power surges.
Your appliances such as your washing machine, fridge, TV and even your computers are affected by power surges when the power comes back on. The burst of power causes arcing, which creates high levels of heat that can potentially damage the circuitry of your appliances. According to My Broadband, this can cause the device‘s power supply to blow or short, rendering it unusable.2
A good way to safeguard against this is to unplug all your appliances as soon as the power goes out. In addition, you can also use surge protectors. However, the most important line of defence is to get adequate household contents insurance. A Pro-Insure Home Insurance policy from PPS Short-Term Insurance covers your household appliances in the event of power surges.
2. Heaters can carry a fire or injury risk
Heating devices can become extremely hot which can become a fire hazard and gas heaters could set items such as clothing, curtains or other materials on fire. Every year in South Africa, people die in house fires caused by accidents involving heating devices.3
Never leave your heaters unattended, or leave them on when you go out of the house. You need to ensure your home is safe when you’re away. Never put anything on top of a heater, even when it’s switched off and check your insurance policy for coverage against accidental fire caused by a heater.
3. Conduct preventative maintenance on your geysers and pipes
Some pipes and geysers are unable to withstand the increased pressure of the water within the pipes which expands when it is frozen, and for this reason they burst during winter.
One of the simplest steps you can take to try to protect your pipes from really bad cold fronts is to use heat or thermal insulation tape on problem pipes, then wrap them in adhesive insulation. This will keep the heat from escaping and will help maintain your pipes at a safe temperature.4
If the worst happens and your pipes do explode, switch off the water mains to avoid flooding and high loss of water, then air out your home to prevent the growth of mould. In the event you do need to claim, as a PPS STI policyholder, all you need to do is simply contact your dedicated client-care consultant and enjoy the benefits of our superior claims service.
4. Prepare for wet winter storms. Especially if you live in the Cape
If you live in a place that has a rainy or windy winter such as the Cape, make sure to storm-proof your home. A recent report indicates that several homes had their roofs blown off in Cape Town. It is imperative then, to fortify your home as much as possible in anticipation of stormy weather. This can include cleaning your gutters and making sure your land has sufficient drainage to help prevent flooding. You can consider purchasing storm guards for doors and windows as well. In addition, make sure your roof is sealed to prevent weak points where water may cause damage to your property.
Fortunately, if you’re insured and you do sustain damage from a winter storm, you can submit a claim for the losses. In addition, if you take out an insurance policy with PPS STI, there are several types of risks you can get cover against. PPS STI will help you protect your assets and counter losses suffered through weather-related damage.
Some winter hazards may potentially pose a real danger to you and your family and it is wise to prepare and protect your home this winter. Safeguard the future of everything you have worked for with tailor-made insurance from PPS STI – intelligent insurance for graduate professionals.
Join PPS Short-Term Insurance today - visit www.pps.co.za or SMS JOIN to 43111.
PPS STI is an authorised Financial Services Provider FSP46274.