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Loadshedding: Insuring your backup solution.

More and more South Africans are responding to the energy crisis by investing in alternative energy solutions to keep the lights on and their electronic devices powered.

Given that these solutions aren’t cheap, many consumers wonder about whether and how they should get them insured. Whether to insure them under your building insurance or your home contents insurance comes down to whether they are permanent fixtures to your home or not.

These solutions range from power trolleys, mini-UPS units and lightbulbs with battery backup, generators, solar panels and inverters.

Home power solutions that would thus fall under building cover include:

  • Solar panels
  • A battery system and inverter that is connected to your distribution board or solar panels
  • A generator affixed to your home or integrated with your distribution board

Examples of content insurance include portable generators, inverters and batteries as well as uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units. It’s wise to insure your alternative power sources for what it would cost to replace them with new equipment.

It will cost more to replace an inverter today than it will cost you to purchase it back then. In insurance jargon, this is called replacement value. Remember to also factor in the cost of installation in your insured value.

Keep in mind that insurance won’t cover you for loss and damage due to wear and tear. Buy a high-quality solution backed up by a five to ten-year warranty to get extra peace of mind.

It’s also important to maintain your expensive system to keep it in proper working order and prolong its lifespan.

With load-shedding likely to remain part of our lives for years to come, alternative energy sources will become a more common purchase for many households. Given that they represent capital investments of tens or even hundreds of thousands of rand, insurance against natural disasters and theft can help put you at ease and mitigate your losses if something goes wrong.

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