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Homeowners' Insurance
Tuesday, August 1, 2000
Electrical fault

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act it is mandatory for each and every homeowner, whether they have just purchased a property or have been living in the same home for years; to have a valid Certificate of Compliance (COC). This ensures that the electrical wiring in any home or business is certified as safe.

Shockproof, which guarantees electrical COCs, also guarantees that should any electrical problems arise either after an electrical inspection, or after any repairs have been completed, it will ensure that a reputable electrical company is sent out to fix them at no charge, based on the terms of its guarantee.
Comments Kevin Levin, Shockproof’s MD, “There are many reasons why a COC could be invalid. Often, contractors who issue them are not specifically trained to carry out inspections of electrical systems, or have not followed the inspection procedures as laid down in the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) 0142 Regulations.”
Fraudulent COCs issued to a property seller, again a legal requirement, without an electrician conducting an inspection of the building, are frighteningly common.
“The consequences of invalid COCs are enormous. If your home burns down and the cause can conclusively be found to be faulty wiring, there is a fair chance that the property owner’s insurer will repudiate the claim.”
He points out that many household insurance policies specifically exclude loss or damage to a building directly or indirectly caused by or arising from faulty or defective design, materials or workmanship, inherent latent defects, gradual deterioration, wear and tear, and lack of maintenance.
These definitions are very broad, and will include faulty or badly maintained electrical wiring as a direct or indirect cause. The homeowner may think that his or her biggest asset, his home, is adequately insured, when in fact, it is not.
“He or she may be financially ruined if their home burns down due to an electrical fault,” he comments. Mortgagors insist on insurance to protect the property for which they have issued a loan. But again, the insurance could be invalidated in the event of a claim, say for a fire that was traced back to faulty wiring.
Numerous homeowners pay a bond each month without knowing whether the wiring in their home is safe or in good working order. Paying for a guaranteed electrical inspection and obtaining a valid COC is a small price to pay compared to the possible consequences. It’s also a small price to pay to ensure your family’s safety.
If the inspection indicates that repairs or maintenance work are required, the electrical contractor will provide a written quote, pre-approved by Shockproof. Once the work has been completed (and it comes with a six-month written guarantee), a certified Shockproof COC will be provided.
Shockproof may be contacted on 0860 100 820.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:13.7 1st August, 2000
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