South Africans are currently on day four of a 21-day lockdown in a bid to prevent the uncontrollable spread of COVID-19.

Many South Africans find themselves at home with a lot more time on their hands. With any travel and entertainment plans on hold, the likelihood of suffering from serious cabin fever is high.

Don’t panic, here we put together a list of home projects you can keep busy and scrap that cabin fever and at the same time, will ensure that your insurance cover is in top shape for any unforeseen event: 

  • Update your asset register – It’s the perfect time to do a thorough audit of all your assets at home and ensure that they are appropriately insured.Have you accumulated new electronics, clothes, computers, furniture, jewellery and other assets?  Use the time at home to make sure your home inventory list is accurate and that new items are included under your cover.
  • Avoid under-insurance – Thanks to the rise in living costs, your home and motor vehicles could be significantly under-insured in the event of a major catastrophe. Make sure that your buildings, home contents and vehicles are insured for their replacement value and not the resale value, especially under your buildings cover.  Your updated asset register will be invaluable in ensuring you are covered for the correct values and items. 
  • Do essential maintenance – check your roof for wear and tear and replace any broken tiles or weathered waterproofing.  Check your taps, fittings and plumbing for signs of wear and tear and repair what you can.  Make a note of any work that needs to be done by a repair company after the lockdown.Paint, clean out, spruce up and remove all the clutter.
  • Keep gutters clear – As we enter the autumn season, keep your inlet/outlet pipes of any drains and gutters clear of leaves and debris.  Also address any waterproofing issues by repairing damaged flashings on the roof.
  • Are your renewable energy solutions covered? – The increasing focus on green technology means that many households have solar geysers and solar PV panels installed.  Check whether these items are included under your homeowners’ insurance cover and increase the sum insured on your policy to account for the additional value they add to your property.
  • Power Surge – Load shedding remains a realityso check your policy to ensure that your appliances are covered and for any requirements on your policy for power surge protection – remember that this will need to be installed on your distribution board by a qualified electrician, so put this on your to-do list for when things are back to normal if not done already.  
  • Fire hazards – Minimise your home’s risk of fire by cleaning out the clutter and rid your home of unnecessary flammable materials such as dry garden debris, empty boxes, paper, chemicals and leftover paint.  Check whether your insurance policy has any clauses related to fire extinguishers or smoke detectors and make sure you have them in place, for your own safety.
  • Give your car a once-over – Check wiper blades and tyres for wear and tear and that the tread is still in good shape.  Make a note of any items that need replacing or repair to schedule for later.
  • Working from home – With many people working from home, you may need to consider business cover in order to address possible risks you may face in your home office environment.  Ensure that your business assets such as laptops, cell phones and other work-related equipment are insured under your commercial policy.  Bear in mind that business related public liability cover is not covered under your personal policy.  Discuss appropriate business insurance options with your broker, as soon as possible.
  • Be vigilant – keep an eye out for loiterers or unfamiliar people scanning the area and be aware of official government activities, so that you are not foiled by would-be criminals posing as officials.  If anything seems out of place, notify your armed response to investigate.
  • Security – Check with your security company how they will conduct their operations during this time, so that you are familiar with the process in the event of an emergency.

Written by Teresa Settas