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Avoid insurance claims by being water wise

By Danielle van Wyk

As of last week the City of Cape Town’s dam levels are at 29,4 %. With that it is no secret that in many parts of the country, saving water is essential. Not only does it assist in continued water service delivery, but it can also reduce your water bill and ultimately help you to avoid unnecessary insurance claims.

“The many benefits of saving water both boost our country’s resources and detract from draining our pockets,” said Sonet Swart, head of claims at PSG Insure.

How does saving water reduce your insurance risk?

According to Swart, leaks that go undetected over time, particularly in areas where dolomite is present, can cause major damage, such as sinkholes.

In this case insurers may then repudiate claims, be it big or small, for any damage in this case, “as repairing leaks are considered to be part of home maintenance in order to remain covered,” Swart added. “Undetected leaks anywhere in your home can also lead to higher water bills. If your bill is unusually high due to a leak you didn’t know of, you might not have any recourse with your insurer to cover it or your municipality to reduce your bill, as leaks are generally a homeowner’s responsibility.”

But it becomes difficult to potentially prevent these things if you do not know what you are looking for.

Swart shares a few tips for checking and monitoring the property for leaks:

  1. Make sure all taps are closed on your property and don’t flush any toilets, or have any water-using appliances running. Check your water meter reading.
  2. Wait 15 minutes, making sure that no taps or appliances are turned on, or any toilet is flushed. Now check your meter reading again.
  3. If the reading has increased, chances are you have a leak. Remember that it is your responsibility to have it fixed. Call a plumber, or if you can detect the leak and remedy it with a simple DIY job, make sure you do so as soon as possible.

While early detection of leaks could save you water and money, it is vital to know how to use your water meter to check for leaks and to also monitor your water bill for unexplainable high usage, advised MiWay.

“It is also water-wise to immediately report any burst pipes or leaks you might see on public roads or in public spaces,” Swart said. “Look out for faulty irrigation systems, for example.”

For a further breakdown on Cape Town dam levels as they stand, visit the City of Cape Town’s page

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