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Load shedding: is your insurance cover restricted?

Photo: Iván Melenchón Serrano

Load shedding is seeing an increase in insurance claims, but the industry is restricting cover. This is according to Sasfin short term insurance broker, Tony Lenhoff.

Insurance is designed to cover unpredictable events. Load shedding, however, is not viewed as unpredictable as Eskom issues schedules as to when it will occur. There are numerous variations in cover on offer by insurers that, to a greater or lesser extent, cover load shedding. However, policyholders must check their policy wording carefully to ensure that what they think they are buying is in fact covered. Ask your insurance broker for a detailed explanation if you are not sure.

“In the case of direct insurance companies, the restrictions are not advertised as such but are often included in new or renewal policy documentation,” says Lenhoff. “In most cases some form of cover is available for damage arising from power outages or load shedding unless the cause is ‘the deliberate withholding of power by an authorised service provider’. An example of this is when a municipality disconnects a consumer from the electricity supply due to non payment.”

It should also be noted that the “alternative” energy sources may themselves create additional risks. These include:

  • fire caused by candles or incorrect gas installations, or
  • damage arising from overloaded circuits arising from switching over to generators.

You may not have continual supply of electricity, but you can easily ensure that your insurance policy will respond if you have a loss resulting from load shedding by discussing your needs with your insurance broker.


Alison Goldberg is the former property editor of Business Day (1985) and the Financial Mail (1991-99). In 1995 she won the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Award. She has edited such titles as National Constructor and The Miner in Australia and has freelanced for The Star, The South African Jewish Report and The Jerusalem Post.

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