In October 2011, two tornadoes tore through South Africa, striking Duduza, a township on Gauteng’s East Rand, and Ficksburg in the Free State. Hundreds of people were injured, and one child died.
Although there have been small instances of natural disasters in South Africa in the past, in recent years these have become more common: the severe drought in the Cape and fires in Knysna are excellent examples. As mentioned in COVER before, insurance companies speak about climate change threats, but their solution is often to increase insurance premiums. There are important things consumers need to know about home insurance in the face of natural disasters.
When South Africans insure their homes, they tend to think about insurance against theft or break-ins because of the high crime in the country. In fact, nearly 70 percent of people feel unsafe in their homes at night, according to Stats SA.
When it comes to protecting one’s home and possessions against natural disasters, however, they might not even consider it – even though these disasters are becoming more common. Luckily, natural disasters like strong winds, water, hailstorms, and fire are covered by insurance companies’ comprehensive policies. But it’s up to homeowners to check that they are sufficiently covered. Here are some things every homeowner should know about home insurance and natural disasters.