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Cold, wet and windy weather set to continue across the Western Cape

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The dams that supply the wider Western Cape are enjoying continued recovery: They’ve gone up by 2.34% since last Monday. In fact, there have been weekly increases across the board for the dams that supply the province and those that supply the City of Cape Town, with the latter at 65% full.

These positive dam levels are set to rise even further with the South African Weather Service (SAWS) predicting continued heavy rain, set to peak later today, Thursday (25 July). As we’ve seen this past few days, this could lead to flooding of roads and result in major traffic disruptions. Residents are urged to ensure they are protected against the consequences of adverse winter conditions.

While winter rains come as no surprise in the Western Cape, heavy rains and cold temperatures can be dangerous. According to Marius Steyn, Santam’s Manager: Personal Lines Underwriting, at Santam, the typical things that people claim for after such weather conditions are water damage to buildings; e.g. walls, ceilings, carpets, laminated or wooden flooring, built-in cupboards; wind damage to roofs, facia boards, gutters and flooding of buildings – and 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 of debris to ensure less chance of overflow that could lead to water push backs and potential internal 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.”  Santam will issue weather warnings to policyholders who may be affected by the heavy rains.