solar panels

How going off-grid will affect your insurance



With consumers queueing up to go off-grid, there is one important thing that consumers should consider as well: how it affects your insurance.

With the increase in rolling blackouts, insurance companies are noticing an increase in claims for fire damage and if your equipment is not properly insured, you might have to pay for the damage from your own pocket.

“While we have come to accept the unfortunate reality of power supply interruptions, reports suggest that load shedding stage 2 or 3 could be guaranteed for the next two years. In this scenario, we are in for a bumpy ride,” says Lizo Mnguni, spokesperson for Old Mutual Insure.

He says many people decided to invest in alternative power supplies such as inverters, generators, UPS batteries and even solar power to keep the lights on, and solar has now become even more attractive given government’s recent introduction of a solar panel tax incentive for individuals.

“Many financial institutions offer finance for solar power, which makes it more easily accessible. If policyholders install such a system, we require that they inform us. The sum insured must be adequate, but many policyholders do not insure them at the correct value, which means that if they experience a loss, they would not be able to replace it with a new one because the insurer will pay out a lower amount.”

Mnguni says you must insure a movable power solution under the contents section of a policy and fixed or non-movable solutions, such as a UPS, under the building policy.

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Increase in fire claims

“We notice a trend of an increase in fire claims, likely from either heat emanating from the system, or incorrect installations. While the policyholder is entitled to use an

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