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Geyser tips that really hold water

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Be prepared, don’t take short cuts and seek professional advice immediately to avoid what can become not only a financial nightmare but a disaster zone for your household assets

Anyone who has experienced a burst geyser will know what a disaster that can be – especially if your insurance doesn’t come to the party. We asked Bertus Visser, chief executive of Distribution at PSG Insure, to share some tips with us so we are not left in hot water.

Be clear about your cover

Your shortterm insurance policy is there to help, but only if you manage it correctly. Don’t assume simply having cover is enough. You have to work within the rules around maintaining your geyser. So do recheck your policy.

Don’t bank on bursts

Some temperature problems and geyser bursts are the only issues likely to be covered by your insurer, but if your geyser is still under warranty, the geyser manufacturer will become involved. There can be delays, so working with an insurer who has a 24-hour assist service can be best.

If a claim is repudiated, the cost of replacing a geyser yourself is costly.

Don’t rely on your bond insurance

You might think if you’re paying off your property, everything – including your geyser – will be automatically covered by the built-in insurance that comes with having a bonded asset. This may be true for some, but it might only factor in how much you still owe on the property and can result in even more steps needed by you to progress an insurance claim.

How to spot issues before they happen

While a geyser bursting isn’t necessarily as violent or destructive as it sounds and you can often continue using it after a burst, it is better to avoid this and replace yours as soon as possible, especially to stay consistently covered by insurance.

If you notice that more than one pipe is dripping from your geyser outlet (as the overflow pipe is likely to drip normally), you need to notify your adviser or insurer immediately.

This could be a sign that a burst has happened, but only a plumber registered with Plumbing Industry Registration Board will be able to help, particularly to stay covered by insurance.

Professional plumbing is the only option

There are a number of SANS codes which apply and a certificate of compliance when a geyser is installed. Qualified plumbers know this and will issue the certificate to you, having acted in accordance with the law.

If you’re in an older property, your geyser’s drip tray might not be up to scratch, so get a qualified plumber to check that too. Also note issues in water temperature, colour or pressure when using hot water outlets around your property to stay ahead of any issues early.

Go beyond the geyser

It can become a nightmare if you start having water leaks. Imagine if a ceiling above a cupboard becomes damaged, for example. Risks like these make it a necessity to include the full picture in your policy. That replacement cost – in today’s value – needs to be considered. Your building sum insured should also consider costs of demolition, alternative housing and delays in rebuilding. Being prepared is so important.

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