Power surges and generators: are you covered?

By Staff Writer
It has been reported that there is going to be load shedding until next year. As a result, many people might be thinking of buying generators in order to keep the lights on, when Eskom turns them off.
 
But, is a generator covered by insurance? And when the lights do come back on, will your appliances be covered if there is a power surge?
 
Nedbank, Absa, and iWYZE explain their policies when it comes to power surges and generators.
 
Nedbank
 
In terms of insuring generators, Nedbank says it depends if the generator is a fixed feature, or if it can move around.
 
"If the generator is a fixed installation, it would automatically be part of the Homeowners policy. However, if the generator is movable, it would not form part of the Homeowners Cover, but would be covered by the clients Contents Insurance," said Anees Vazeer, managing director at Nedgroup Insurance.
 
Vazeer went on to explain that Nedbank Insurance does cover power appliances against power surges.
 
"Nedbank Insurance has introduced a cover for its homeowners' policyholders from next year February to cover power surge/dipped/spike damage to electrical and mechanical items such as circuit boards, gate motors, etc.," said Vazeer.
 
Vazeer also said that there will be cover for perishables (such as food) that have gone off due to power disruptions.
 
Absa
 
Absa said that power surges are covered under their claims, but as each client is unique, each claims case will be different.
 
"Our product lines cover clients that have claims relating to power surges, so clients do not have to take out any additional insurance. Absa Insurance is putting the customer at the centre of everything that we do and will review every claim made on merit, meaning that we shall review what has been in the client's control or not," said Carike van Dyk, chief operating officer at Absa Insurance.
 
In terms of generators, clients are advised to speak to their Absa Insurance broker in order to insurance their generator.
 
"According to our records currently, the number of claims relating to power surges is insignificant and therefore it allows us to be thoroughly prepared when approached for claims of this nature," said van Dyk.
 
iWYZE
 
In the iWYZE Valuable Insurance Policy, power surges are covered, but only if the client has elected to have them covered. Therefore, clients are advised to check their policy wording, and make any changes to it, that they feel are necessary.
 
"Cover for loss or damage as a result of power surges (for example to electronic goods) is provided under the Household Valuables (home contents) cover section, only where the client has elected to add the accidental damage option to their policy," said iWYZE.
 
However, the accidental damage option will not cover permanent fixtures.
 
"The accidental damage option is not available under the Buildings section, therefore permanent fixtures and fittings forming part of the building such as geysers, would not be covered in this event.
 
"We settle accidental damage claims up to the limit of compensation which the client would have chosen for the accidental damage option under Household Valuables," said iWYZE.
 
*At the time of publication Standard Bank had not provided comment, and First National Bank advised Justmoney to speak to OutSurance.

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