SA’s biggest short-term insurer Santam saw a 60% increase in power surge-related claims by the end of June.

A Fin24 report notes that Discovery received an average of 300 power surge-related claims weekly in its personal lines business at the peak of load shedding during that month.

OUTsurance, meanwhile, has started charging a higher excess for these claims in order to avoid hiking premiums.

The period already marked SA's worst year on record for power cuts, while load shedding has since returned with a vengeance, once again escalating to stage six this week.

The country's biggest short-term insurer said it saw power surge-related claims spike across its personal and commercial insurance portfolios, while the lights being out has also pushed up the number of burglaries and car accidents.

‘Like most industries in SA, load shedding has a detrimental impact on our business,’ said Santam's head of claims, Fanus Coetzee.

Anneli Retief, the head of Dialdirect Insurance, says the company's power surge claims have doubled in the past four years.

She added that on the home front, when the lights go out, so do the alarm systems, gate motors and electric fencing making it easier for criminals to gain access to properties.

‘Most insurance policies stipulate in their contracts that the house alarm must be activated at all times when the home is unoccupied. So, if your house is burgled during a power cut, then, theoretically, your theft-related cover would be moot,’ said Retief.

Full report on the Fin24 site