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Santam, South Africa’s largest general insurer, has cautioned Western Cape residents to be careful and to exercise extreme vigilance in the wake of heavy rain expected over the coming days.
The SA Weather Service has advised the Disaster Risk Management Centre that Cape Town will experience heavy rain over the coming days. The South African Weather Service has issued a weather advisory and Thursday is expected to be the coldest day of the year, while Friday is expected to be the coldest morning with temperatures recovering slowly during the course of the day. The forecast predicts light snowfalls over the Western Cape mountains with rainfall between 40-50mm over the southern-western parts of the Western Cape which started on Wednesday and is expected to last until Friday the 19th of August. In addition, disruptive winds are forecasted along the coast between Cape Columbine and Plettenberg Bay.
“Being as prepared as possible, will help prevent damage to your property or car. The cost to repair damage and replace vehicles varies according to the severity of storms.”
“Not only are the costs crippling, but the repair process can take months, depending on the availability of car parts and the capacity of approved motor body repairers,” Attie Blaauw, Personal Lines Underwriting Manager at Santam said.
So, how can South Africans in these regions prepare for the storm? Blaauw offers some tips to help activate disaster preparedness:
If you are on the road or your vehicle is parked:
· Drive slowly – slower driving minimises the damage of storms and combats slippery roads.
· Locate a safe, covered area immediately or pull over under an overpass, provided it is safe to do so.
Undercover parking at malls and petrol stations are good temporary solutions to protecting your car during a storm.
· Take careful note of the extent of the damage to your car; look for damage to all glass items including side mirrors, taillights, and head lights. Taking pictures may be useful when it comes to claims time.
· If you are affected by a storm, immediately report the incident to your insurer.
When you are at home:
Keep your gutters clean. It is important to clear gutters of leaves, twigs, and any other debris regularly. An overflowing gutter could lead to a leaking roof and further damage.
Trimming trees close to your house helps get rid of branches that can cause severe damage during a storm.
Keep your blinds down. Make sure you close all curtains, blinds, or shutters to prevent broken window glass being broken or injuring you or your family.
Park your car in the garage or in a sheltered undercover area.
Ensure that you are adequately covered against in your insurance policy so that you have cover when you need it.
“Now is not the time to compromise on your insurance cover – it is very important to know exactly what you are covered for and for what amount. Consumers should make sure their policies are up to date and take a note of the insurer’s available emergency services. Choose an insurer that assists you in protecting your assets in severe weather situations by sending out weather alerts,” concludes Blaauw.
Santam policyholders are reminded that they can call the 24/7 claims and emergency helpline 0860 505 911 or lodge a query via the Santam client site or Santam app.
Issued by Santam