Load shedding: So you've got a generator - but what about insurance?

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Load shedding is bound to increase the demand for personal generators - but this comes with its own set of insurance implications, says Christelle Colman, managing director of Elite Risk Acceptances, a subsidiary of Old Mutual Insure.

She urges generator owners to ensure they are well informed in order to avoid any financial setbacks with claims relating to loss, theft or damage.

Not always insured

"While some insurers do cover generators in their standard home insurance policies, this may not always be the case. Furthermore, there are some insurers that impose limitations and restrictions depending on whether it is a fixed generator or a portable one," she explains.

In addition to having comprehensive insurance in place, Colman says that policyholders who own personal generators or are thinking of getting a generator must ensure they adhere to the correct installation and usage requirements to avoid any related claims being repudiated.

Prevent rejected claims

"To prevent potential claims being rejected, it is important that homeowners receive a certificate of compliance from the electrician following the installation to prove that the generator was installed correctly," says Colman, who adds that failing to install a generator correctly could pose a major fire hazard.

According to a document released by Eskom on selecting the right type of generator, it is recommended that the generator be kept at least five meters away from the home and that working smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are installed.

They must be stored in a weather protected enclosure with sufficient ventilation.

As most generators operate with petroleum fuel, homeowners will also need to ensure that they comply with the legal limit of permitted fuel storage at a private residence.

Colman advises that when homeowners suspect they will exceed the legal limit of quantities allowed, the fuel should be stored in an underground area separate to the home that is well ventilated.

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