• Old Murphy always seems to wait until the early hours of the morning or on a public holiday to have your geyser burst, and usually when the temperature has taken a sub-zero plummet.

    “This is also when you’re most likely to find out just how adequate your insurance coverage is in sorting out the problem and resultant damage, quickly and without hassle,” explains Mandy Barrett of insurance brokerage Aon South Africa.

    “It’s a good idea to plan ahead and take the time to thoroughly check your policy wordings and discuss with your broker that you are appropriately covered for all eventualities when it comes to burst geysers, water pipes and resultant damage. Not all insurance policies are created equal and home owners need to make sure that they are properly covered for the replacement costs of the geyser, any burst pipes and resultant damage to ceilings, walls, carpets, lighting and electrical wiring and so on,” advises Mandy.


    • Some policies may provide cover for resultant damage but not the replacement of the geyser or pipes, which can run into the thousands.
    • Some insurers stipulate an excess per item claimed for, rather than one excess on the total claim. 
    • There is a difference between ‘Buildings’ cover and ‘Household Contents’ cover. Your buildings policy covers you for replacing the bricks and mortar and fixtures in your home – so in this instance your geyser, pipes, ceilings and so on. Your ‘Household Contents’ cover is separate and insures the contents in your home. Damage to household items such as furniture or appliances would be covered under your household contents insurance policy. Should you claim under both ‘Buildings’ and ‘Contents’ policies, you may find that you have to pay two excesses as this would be lodged as two separate claims.
    • Ensure you have a professional broker on your side to advise you on the policy terms and conditions and to ensure that you have the best possible cover for your available budget.
    • Upgrade to a green, sustainable energy solution. Insurers such as Santam are offering clients the opportunity to replace their damaged geysers with solar or heat pump options, allowing the client to pay in the difference between the insurance pay out and the cost of the green water heating system.

    Visit www.aon.co.za for more information.