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Know Your Policy – Part 6; Load shedding and your insurance policy

By Kayser Baird | Durban | December 12, 2014


Load shedding will be a part of our lives for at least the next two years.

~Kayser Baird Insurance






From an insurance perspective, many questions have arisen about how load shedding affects personal and business insurance policies. In Part 6 of our “Know Your Policy” articles we answer some of the most important questions and welcome further comment or questions that you may have.


Your personal insurance policy may require you to have a linked alarm system fitted at your home. If this is the case, it is your responsibility to ensure that the alarm system is in good working order, and that the monitoring company is receiving a signal when there is an activation.

Your security system relies on electricity for power and in the absence of electrical supply, electric fences become ineffective and alarm systems rely on battery backup power. Batteries have a limited charge time, and if your batteries are old, or where there is a lengthy power outage your alarm system could stop working before the power is restored.

Kayser Baird and the insurers that we deal with will not prejudice clients where load shedding renders an otherwise operable system that was armed, inoperative.

Power Surges

When power is restored following an outage, there may be a surge that can damage appliances and electronic goods. This can result in great cost and inconvenience. We recommend that you install proper surge protection on your distribution board. These are inexpensive devices but should be installed by a qualified electrician. If you don’t have surge protection, we recommend that you unplug your appliances and devices to protect them from a possible surge when the power comes back on.

Kayser Baird offers an extension on our Santam and Hollard domestic policy called “mechanical / electrical breakdown” – this is a paid-for extension that includes cover for your electronic equipment damaged by power surge. We would recommend that all personal policy holders take a minimum of R10,000 cover, which should cost in the region of R30 to R60 a month.

Fire Hazard

Power outages can indirectly increase the level of fire hazard in the home. This could arise from numerous sources, such as using candles or petrol generators / paraffin or gas for illumination and cooking. We recommend that battery illumination be your first choice. If using portable gas bottles indoors for cooking, ensure that they are in good working order and that you follow the manufacturers directions.

If you have a generator, it is essential that it is connected and fuelled properly. You need to be aware that if your generator is simply back-supplying into your distribution board via a socket, you will be breaching municipal by-laws and this could create issues in the event of a claim. It is also important that a fire extinguisher be at hand at all times.

Kayser Baird and the insurers we deal with will not seek to avoid claims providing the insured has otherwise observed policy conditions.

General Hints for personal safety and comfort

The above information on load shedding was brought to you in conjunction with our partner Hollard Insurance Company.





Kayser Baird offers both Personal and Business short term insurance and is one of the largest brokers in South Africa. To request a quote for your personal insurance please contact us.


Next week in “Know Your Policy” we look at optional cover that you can take on your personal insurance policy in Part 7 – Optional extensions on your personal insurance policy

Read previous posts in the “Know Your Policy” series;

Part 1 – The Average Clause
Part 2 – All Risks Cover
Part 3 – Residential Buildings Insurance
Part 4 – Your Policy Excess Structure
Part 5 – Convenience Benefits

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