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Homeowners' Insurance
Monday, August 18, 2014 - 02:16
Correct solution

There is usually an increased risk of a geyser bursting in winter due to the colder and more extreme changes in weather. Most domestic risks of this nature are covered in the standard homeowner’s insurance policy (which covers all fixtures and fittings inside the home as well as the building itself).

Of course, policyholders must follow the correct insurance claims procedures in the event their geyser bursts, to ensure there are no delays or problems in getting a new one fitted.
Nazeer Hoosen, Executive Director: PPS Short-Term Insurance, says it is important that homeowners follow the correct steps, as stipulated in their insurance policies. One of the biggest mistakes they make is simply failing to inform their insurance provider. “Instead they rush out and get the geyser fixed by their own provider without the approval of the insurer.” When it comes to claims submission the homeowner may find that the cost is not fully covered by their policy.”
In the worst case scenario, an non-accredited provider may fail to install the geyser properly or cause further damage to the home, says Hoosen. “We have seen cases where the unapproved plumber did not install the geyser properly and simply covered an open space with a board, which resulted in the need for the entire ceiling to be replaced. Using such operators can often result in unnecessary repairs and resultant delays, and this will be a big inconvenience to homeowners who may effectively have to go through the repair process twice.”
To avoid any claims-related problems in future Hoosen provides the following tips:
• In the event of a geyser burst, turn off both the geyser at the electricity box and the water supply (usually located outside the house) immediately;
• Contact your insurance provider and report the incident. It is always beneficial to have an insurance provider that offers home assistance as a value added service, as they will provide a direct service to help you resolve the issue by putting you in touch with accredited service providers as quickly as possible;
• Even though resultant damage due to a geyser burst is typically covered by most insurance policies, it is wise to try minimise damage as much as possible by drying up any affected contents as best you can;
• As a safety measure, homeowners should maintain their geyser. It is a good idea to have it checked ahead of the winter months to see whether exposed pipes are wrapped up properly, and this helps to reduce bursting due to cold water.

“When in doubt, homeowners should contact their insurance provider or broker to enquire about the correct procedures.”

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:27.8 1st August, 2014
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