“Hollard has appealed to brokers to alert their clients of extreme wet-weather conditions and possible floods, which scientists expect to accompany La Niña.
“Because there is some disagreement regarding specifics, Hollard’s risk improvement team, headed by Marcel Wood, has been intensely researching the risks South Africans are likely to face with the arrival of La Niña. The general agreement is that it will be impacting us with heavy rain falls and the high risk of flooding from this December to February 2017,” says Justin Naylor, broker champion at Hollard Broker Markets.
“Hollard is appealing to brokers to prioritise communicating urgently to their clients the need for immediate proactive risk management steps to protect their facilities against extremely high rainfalls. If December remains accurate as the date of impact of La Niña’s extreme weather, it is important that risk management steps, compiled by the Risk Improvement Team, be finished in November ahead of time to give protective walling and barriers time to settle.”
Naylor explains that despite isolated disagreements about specifics, the wetter weather expectations of the majority of climate experts are backed up by Hollard’s claims experience from past La Niña events.
“We can expect La Niña to bring an increase in extreme rainfall events with a very high risk of flooding. We can also expect these floods will be severe enough to cause infrastructure damage, carry off anything unanchored and destroy items not stored above expected water levels. Our job as insurance professionals is to guide and assist our clients to escape as much downtime as possible as well as avoid unnecessary destruction of items which could take time to replace,” he says.
Causes of flooding It is important to understand the various specific causes of flooding, which may have skipped notice. Flooding can follow as storm-water runoff accumulates in normally dry areas, or areas hit by severe drought, which are unprepared for high volumes of water. Also, excessive rain can cause flash flooding and bodies of water can overflow their normal boundaries. These include rivers, streams, oceans, bays, lakes, canals and dams – and being near to one of these is a cause for concern.
Naylor says that while we can take a moment to celebrate the fact that rainfall, extreme or not, will ease the effects of drought, excessive rain and flood-related risk management is vital. Our Risk Improvement Team has put together a list of protective steps we should all be taking before La Nina drops extreme wet weather on us:
• You or your clients should check if their premises are in an area with a high risk of flooding. Are they close to a body of water which could overflow? Has the area experienced flooding in the past? If so, extra precautions are essential. It might be necessary to call for a professional assessment to identify the risk prevention measures needed for specific clients faced with doubts.
• Clean and clear all gutters, drain pipes, drain entrances and all water-related apparatus that allows water to drain away.
• Protect the inlet to all drains and storm-water drainage against debris blockage. Fit metal grates, curbs, and/or have sandbags ready at all vulnerable positions.
• Build a low protective wall (the experts call bunding) to stop water flowing and collecting around sensitive apparatus like electrical equipment, furnaces, boilers, computers, and electronic switchgear.
• Store stock, spares or items, susceptible to water damage, on pallets to raise them off ground level and above a potential flood level. Also, where possible, relocate sensitive equipment to higher ground or, internally, higher levels above the floor.
• Any water intrusion points in the floors and walls of premises should be sealed with water resistant material.
• Anchorage: Provide properly designed anchorage to everything that may float or move laterally when impacted by fast flowing water. Create effective resistance to the forces of buoyancy, moving water, as well as individual wave impact. Structures of concern include: storage tanks, silos, bins, sealed conduits and pipes. In addition to protecting the structures themselves, proper anchorage prevents them from becoming floating debris that could cause damage to surrounding buildings and equipment.
• Covers: Install watertight covers over cable trenches to prevent them from being filled with silt and debris carried by flood waters.
• Sensors: Install water sensors and relay devices that will automatically send an alarm to a location humanly monitored 24/7; or, the alarm could shut off non-essential electrical devices before flood damage. Ensure these devices are tested before this November and later as recommended by the manufacturer.
• Automatic sprinkler valves: Fire is a risk. Flood water often carries heavy debris, capable of rupturing ignitable liquid tanks and damaging liquid and flammable gas piping. Electrical short circuits and other ignition sources are usually present to start a fire. The problem is, once a fire starts, flooding may prevent the local fire service from reaching the fire. The automatic sprinkler and fire pumps may also be damaged. Therefore, always locate automatic sprinkler valves and pumps outside the flood-prone areas.”
Reference : http://www.riskafrica.com/la-nina-is-coming/
Please Ensure That All Maintenance Are Conducted On Properties To Avoid Claims Being Repudiated Due To Heavy Storms.
Policy Wording – Reference Corporate Sure
Prevention Of Loss
“ The insured shall take all reasonable steps and precautions to prevent accidents or losses and shall exercise all reasonable precautions for the maintenance and safety of the property.”
Wear And Tear
“ this policy does not cover damages which occurs gradually over a period of time, including wear and tear”.
Defective Design | Lack Of Maintenance And Cost Of Maintenance
“ This policy does not cover loss of or damage caused by or attribute to defective design, defective workmanship, defective construction or defective material or lack of maintenance and the cost of maintenance of the insured property.”