Insurance companies say they have picked up an increase in claims over the last few months. While the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) says they cannot pin this increase on load shedding, the rise in claims has coincided with the re-introduction of load shedding a few months ago.

City Power also says only 10 claims they have had so far, were due to load shedding.

Sonya Kobrowisky, a resident of Fairlands, north of Johannesburg, says she has had to put in an insurance claim for damage to her appliances due to the power surge when load shedding ends.

“Not only is it a huge inconvenient at work, home and in the traffic; it’s also a security risk. In addition to this, we have lost various electrical appliances from the fridge, stove, dishwasher, TV, decoder, plugs in the home, our garage door motor and the electric fence and while we have claimed successfully from the insurance, its quiet a tedious process and during which we have had to endure periods without electrical appliances, an unoperational garage door and an electric fence, which once again compromises our security,” says Kobrowisky.

She says the whole process of claiming has not been easy.

“In order to claim from insurance, we have had to get an electrician out to firstly assess the damage, repair the plugs and to verify the cause damage to our appliances. There are various claim forms that need to be completed and quotes that need to be obtained and submitted prior to replacing goods and if you are not on top of your insurance cover and updating it annually, there are shortfalls in replacement values,” says Kobrowisky.

Sonya is one of many residents who have had to deal with damage due to load shedding.

City Power says they have only received 10 claims related to load shedding, and they’ve reimbursed nine of them.

Spokesperson Isaac Mangena says this has cost them R130 000.

Mangena says residents have to first prove that City Power was negligent during load shedding and this is difficult.

“Only 10 of the 188 claims received by City Power from our customers relate to load shedding as per the customers description. Only one claim has so far been rejected and we anticipate that more of this will be rejected, because we believe that customers will find it difficult to prove negligence on the side of City Power, especially during load shedding that is declared by Eskom,” says Mangena.

City Power itself has had its equipment damaged due to power surges. They have in the last few months claimed from their own insurers to the tune of R30 million.