Thursday, March 20, 2014

Eskom has declared a ‘power emergency’ and will be embarking on nationwide load shedding for the first time since 2008.

Power cuts are a reality so obviously security systems and electric fences will be going offline. The question on everybody’s lips is: if your house is burgled during a black-out, are you covered?

According to John October, spokesperson for Dial Direct Insurance: “It is a condition in most insurance policies that a house alarm has to be activated at all times when the home is not occupied. So, if a house is burgled during a power cut, then, theoretically, the customer would not benefit from any burglary cover as the alarm would be rendered inoperative. However, if you have a home contents policy and your house is burgled during a blackout, Dial Direct would not apply such an endorsement to that specific incident.”

Dial Direct will also provide certain insurance cover for food that deteriorates in a fridge because of a power failure. In addition, if a fire is caused by a heater either malfunctioning or switching back on after a blackout, you will be insured, provided that the incident did not occur because of the reckless behavior of the insured.

October says that another unfortunate consequence of power cuts are power surges which can cause sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, TVs and DVD players to short.

“Dial Direct does offer cover for damages caused as a result of power surges. The installation of a power surge preventer may prevent or mimimise the damages caused by a power surge but it’s not guaranteed. We therefore do not insist that our customers install a power surge preventer as in many instances, damage may still occur as the power surge may by-pass the protection device due to the fact that so many of today's devices are inter-linked,” concludes October.

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