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Are your clients ready for the summer shut down?

Now is the time to review risk mitigation measurements.

Everyone is looking forward to a well-deserved rest during the summer holidays, including your clients. Give them the peace of mind to enjoy their break, safe in the knowledge that their businesses, sites and plant will be protected against all risk.

Contractors – and subcontractors – should be preparing for the possible onset of loss or damage to construction plant and equipment, machinery, processing equipment and building materials. This can, of course, happen because of a number of reasons, including malicious damage, vandalism, theft, sabotage, fire or flooding.

KwaZulu-Natal experienced severe flooding during April this year, causing the loss of lives and livelihoods, including millions of Rands worth of damage to ‘yellow metal’ plant and equipment. The South African Weather Service predicts a third year of “abnormal” weather conditions with heavy downpours and potential flooding during the summer rainy season. This has to do with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which is currently in a La Niña state. Aside from unexpected downpours, this system could also cause abnormally high temperatures that may continue later into 2023.

This leads to another important reminder that all plant storage or ‘lay down’ areas should be free from exposure to fire risk. Grass and vegetation should be cleared away, fire breaks should be created and maintained and other fire prevention measures must be employed. This is especially important where there is an accumulation of building materials, plant and equipment. Piled storage can also lead to condensation damage.

Contractors and subcontracts must ensure that their plant, equipment and materials are kept safe and secure against the criminal element during the upcoming closed season. Theft, vandalism and malicious damage have become a serious concern for insurers and the insured. Adequate on- and offsite security arrangements must be made with a well-equipped, professional security service provider. Clients must however be reminded that plant all risk policies may be subject to specific restrictions in some instances.

There are other things your clients can do to keep their sites safe while they are on holiday. Rain gauges can be installed where accurate measures can be taken, recorded and monitored throughout the break. Sites must be cleaned and cleared of any debris that could block water drains or create a fire hazard. Perimeter fencing must be checked for breaks and security lights should be installed. Any equipment not in use must be switched off and surge protection devices and systems should be checked.

Special risk cover should also be considered. The illegal unrest, riots, destruction to property and theft that took place in June and July 2021 cost the country – and the private sector – untold amounts in lost revenue and damage. The South African Special Risk Insurance Association (SASRIA) paid out billions of Rands to qualifying clients in the aftermath of this civil unrests. The state-owned company provides cover against instances of civil commotion, public disorder, rioting, looting, labour disturbances, strikes, a lockout and acts of terrorism. Considering the latest crime statistics and trends, we strongly advise that your clients consider this type of additional coverage. You can also read more about SASRIA’s stand-alone project delay policy here.

While we’ve mentioned that plant all risk policies may be subject to certain limitations (have your read our article on Three Ways to Insure Your Plant?), this is true for just about every type of policy. It’s a good idea to go through all exceptions, conditions, warranties, provisions and terms of policies with your clients. This will ensure that your clients know exactly what they are protected against, and is sure to create a mutually beneficial and sustainable working relationship.

Contact us for more advice on how you can help your clients to prepare for – and enjoy – a worry-free December vacation.

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