Protect your home against flooding
There's no doubt that weather-related events like flooding, caused by heavy rains, have increased in the frequency and severity over the past few years, often causing damage worth millions of rands. Fortunately, there are some measures you can take to protect your home, household contents and vehicles from possible flood damage.
Though the rainfall figures have remained relatively unchanged over the past ten years, the delivery patterns have changed. We are, increasingly experiencing large volumes of rain in short time periods. An example like the heavy storms in Kimberley in February this year emphasises is a case in point. More than 100mm of rain was measured in less than an hour resulting in flash flooding that caused extensive damage to houses, vehicles and businesses.
If you live near a river banks, run-off areas or open-water canals, you need to take extra precautions to ensure that your homes are adequately protected. Protect yourself against flooding with the following tips from Santam's underwriting team:
- Know your risk: When shopping for a home, remember to ask about the flood history of the area you are buying in. Your insurance company should also be able to assist in this regard.
- In the gutter: Check your gutters and downpipes on a monthly basis and before the rainy season starts. Make sure your gutters, drainage ports and sumps are clean and free of debris such as leaves.
- From the rooftops: To prevent storm damage, check your roof sheeting or tiles regularly and inspect screws/nails on asbestos type and iron roofs.
- Neighbourhood watch: Check the municipal storm water drains near your home before the rainy season begins. Involve the community in checking that drains are not blocked, and contact your local authority if they are.
- Be warned: Sign up for storm and flood warnings via SMS, either from the South African Weather Bureau, or from your insurance company (if they offer this service). Advance warning means you can move your car to a place of safety. Disconnect your electricity, move your electronic equipment and take other precautions well ahead of potentially adverse weather.
FLOODED? SANTAM CAN HELP
Santam is South Africa's largest short-term insurer, insuring risks of over R4 trillion. We pay out more money than any other insurer and in the past year, we paid out 99% of all claims made. We offer our policyholders advice and tips on how to keep safe through social media networks and SMS weather alerts. If you have a problem with respect to flooding, you can contact our 24/7 SOS and claims line on 0860 505 911.