Tips on what to do if your house or vehicle is damaged by wet weather
Whereas Cape Town gets most of its rainfall over the winter months, Mother Nature can surprise citizens with the odd late summer rainfall. The National Weather Service is predicting the city will record its first proper rainfall of the year with a cold front to hit tomorrow, Wednesday.
While this is good news for Cape Town’s dam levels, Marius Steyn, Personal Lines Underwriting at Santam, says wet weather warnings should prompt people to check their insurance is up to date. “The typical things that people claim for are water damage to buildings, e.g. walls, ceilings, carpets, laminated or wooden flooring and built-in cupboards; wind damage to roofs, facia boards, and gutters; and flooding of buildings. Often consumers don’t know what to do when their goods or property is affected or damaged.
The claims process varies depending on the insurer. Below, Santam provides four common tips to keep in mind when starting a claim process:
Know your rights and responsibilities by reviewing your insurance policy
Check whether your policy covers the damage you’re dealing with
Ensure you know the deadline for filing a claim
Speak to your broker to make sure you are not underinsured, especially if the amount of your claim is less than the valuation of the repairs
Prevention is also always better than cure and Steyn shares the following additional tips:
PROTECT YOUR HOME
- Continue to clear gutters and storm water drains of debris to ensure less chance of overflow that could lead to water push backs and potential water damage.
- Inspect the roof regularly and be vigilant about maintaining it. A poorly maintained roof could render an insurance claim illegitimate.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to prevent branch or debris damage to a home.
- Secure outdoor furniture or move it under cover.
- Ensure that your home and household contents are insured for the correct replacement value.
PROTECT YOUR VEHICLE
- Ensure that your wiper blades are in good working order
- Tyres are correctly inflated and have thread within legal parameters
- Prevent unnecessary driving in adverse weather conditions
Steyn continues that having a short-term insurance policy which covers your risks well in the event of a claim is critical during times of adverse weather conditions. “Ensure that your home, your business and its contents, as well as your vehicle, are adequately insured so that your insurer can pay out your claim.”