Make sure your home can weather any storm

Homeowners are urged to ensure that their household maintenance is in line with their insurance requirements to ensure that their homes are able to weather any storm.

“Over the past few years, South Africa has suffered the effects of extreme weather on a more regular basis,” said Mandy Barrett of insurance brokers, Aon South Africa. “Damage from severe storms, floods and lightning strikes have become regular features on the insurance claims role. There are some important pointers to take heed of to make sure you won’t be left counting the cost when the next big storm strikes.”

Barret explained that if your policy stipulated that you must have surge protection in place and you renege on getting this done, any claims for damage to electrical circuitry, fixtures and appliances could be rejected because you have not complied with the policy provision for surge protection. Likewise, if your gutters are not properly maintained or fully functioning and you suffer water damage to your ceilings as a direct result of this, you could be prejudiced in the event of a claim.


Tips to protect both your home and office:

• Always switch off and unplug electrical appliances during a storm.

• Install lightning surge protectors at all plug points, especially where you have expensive and important equipment plugged in.

• Install a heavy-duty surge suppressor at your main electricity distribution board. These surge suppressors are designed to deal with large voltages as they enter your building, minimising the impact on your equipment.

• Where required, install a lightning conductor in the form of a free-standing mast for thatch roofs. These must be SABS approved and installed by a qualified person

• Make sure all your gutters are clean and free of debris or blockages so they can allow for maximum drainage during a heavy downpour.

• Inspect your roof each year for leaks and damage to prevent water damage to ceilings.

• Inspect any surrounding trees and remove any dead branches which could cause damage if they fell on your property, vehicle or even worse, a person.

In addition, lightning surge protectors to your intercom system, alarm system and gate motor should not be overlooked as these items are susceptible to lightning damage. Also check your insurance policy to confirm what the outcome would be if your burglar alarm was damaged, without your knowledge, and you were burgled.

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