Severe weather: How to minimise losses

Lizo Mnguni, spokesperson for Old Mutual Insure

Old Mutual Insure is warning residents on the Southern Cape region to be extra vigilant and take precautions given the intense flooding the region is experiencing. The major flooding has caused traffic chaos, forcing road closures while homes and buildings have suffered flood damage. 

The South African Weather service has also alerted a Level 2 over the western and southern parts of KwaZulu Natal. They’ve warned of the possibility of severe thunderstorms which could result in heavy downpours and flooding in informal/formal settlements, the strong damaging winds predicted could also cause localised structural damages.

“We urge all South Africans to conduct comprehensive maintenance checks on their vehicles as well as their homes ahead of the, which can help minimise the opportunity for something to go wrong,” says Lizo Mnguni, spokesperson for Old Mutual Insure. 

The flooding also poses a distinct risk to safe driving on major roads. 

Mnguni says that all homeowners and vehicle drivers should conduct a thorough risk-management checklist to mitigate damage to possessions ahead of the expected storm. 

“Checking tires before driving in wet weather is also extremely important. It could result in an insurance claim being rejected should the insurer determine that the cause of an accident was a direct result of poor tyre maintenance.”

Another check is to know exactly where your house’s shut-off valves are for the main water supply, should water damage occur.

“Check your gutters and drainpipes to avoid leaves and other debris from clogging them up and damaging your home’s exterior siding. Also unplug all electronic devices, including cell phones, laptops and Wi-Fi routers to prevent serious damage to these devices should you experience lightning.”

Mnguni also suggests that you have emergency home assistance in place and have emergency numbers on speed dial in case off an incident at home, such as flooding, or a tree falling on the roof. Home assistance services can add tremendous value during storm periods to homeowners who experience any type of emergency. If you cannot avoid being on the road during predicted storms, check that you have emergency driver assistance in place and have emergency numbers on hand in case of an accident or breakdown – especially as rainy weather increases motorists’ chances of incidents.

“The only option when storms are upon us is for home and vehicle owners to be proactive, which can lower the possibility of damage to their belongings as a result of extreme weather conditions,” concludes Mnguni.

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