Surge Protection & Load-shedding
Traffic delays, late dinners and wet hair – just when you thought you had enough to worry about thanks to load-shedding, there’s another factor that’s vitally important to consider – your insurance policy.
With sustained planned power outages expected to continue until at least 2024, both home and business owners need to be even more conscious of damage to electrical goods that could be caused by load-shedding – and the insurance implications.
In this blog, we look at these implications, and how surge protection can be a valuable defence to shield your equipment from damage caused by power surges and load-shedding.
HOW DOES SURGE DAMAGE OCCUR?
When power is restored following load-shedding or substation faults, a power surge can occur. These surges can occur in either over-or-under voltage situations caused by unstable power conditions. According to experts, the duration of these conditions is normally longer and can be especially damaging to air-conditioners and electronic motors running under load.
Worryingly, the average home can also experience multiple smaller power surges a day, which can be caused by various sources. While hardly noticeable, these smaller surges contribute to cumulative damage over time, which can shorten your device’s life and cause long-term problems.
“Unfortunately, without adding substantial new generating capacity, a quick turnaround in this growth-dampening situation seems unlikely. Consequently, we see regular bouts of cuts continuing into 2024.” Absa
Lightning is also a culprit of surge damage. Although it seldom causes damage via a direct strike to the appliance, lightning can induce power surges when power lines are hit, boosting electrical pressure by millions of volts and causing an increase in the current flowing to your wall outlet. Other causes of surges include faulty wiring, problems with substations or equipment and downed power lines.
HOW CAN SURGE PROTECTION HELP?
Whether they’re caused by planned or unplanned power outages, or lightning strikes, power surges have the potential to inflict major damage to any unprotected electrical appliances unfortunate enough to be plugged into the mains at the time.
Surge protection devices work by blocking or redirecting surge currents instead of allowing them to pass through and damage any equipment. They absorb and dissipate the power of a surge to shield connected equipment.
“To keep yourself, your home and your household contents safe, continuously monitor the load shedding schedule in your area to better prepare for the next power outage. Once you are aware of the load shedding schedule, you will then be able to make the necessary arrangements to protect your household appliances and enjoy peace of mind knowing that you are well protected”. Elizabeth Mountjoy, Private Wealth Manager – FNB Insurance Brokers.
SURGE PROTECTION & HOME INSURANCE
Household insurance generally offers some form of power surge cover, but if you have expensive electronic items they may fall outside of the maximum value limit.
It’s vital to check with your insurance broker or provider exactly what is covered, and whether a power surge benefit is included in your policy. You should also check whether your policy requires any mitigating equipment, such as surge protection, to be installed in order for cover to be valid.
If surge cover is not included or you don’t have the necessary protection in place, you may not be able to submit a claim for any appliance damage caused by a power surge.
At Genesis we can advise on home insurance policies which include discounts on your excess for having suitable surge protection in place.
Did You Know? Discovery Insurance received an average of 300 power surge-related claims weekly in its personal lines business at the peak of load shedding in June 2022.
CLEARLINE – THE LIGHTNING & SURGE PROTECTION COMPANY
We also work closely with our trusted surge-protection suppliers at Clearline, providers of high-quality surge protection solutions for a range of equipment.
Backed by an expert team of over 200 staff members, Clearline offers cost-effective surge protection solutions that can be customised for your requirements.
The patented “Surge Potential Platform” ensures that surge currents are interchanged on the surge platform and not through the equipment. Devices that can be protected include:
- Access control, CCTV & alarm systems
- Borehole pumps
- Fibre and ISDN datalines, IP phones & routers
- Office Equipment
- Household appliances
Surge protection systems can be installed directly at your main distribution board, or are available in the form of surge protector adaptors which can be installed to minimise damage to electronics.
All Clearline protection systems comply with ISO9001 manufacturing standards and carry a two-year no-nonsense warranty against failure for any reason, including lightning damage.