During the Covid-19 crisis, many South Africans turned to DIY for maintenance jobs around the home. But, Dialdirect Insurance cautions DIY enthusiasts to think twice before getting stuck into home improvement projects because things can, and sometimes do, go horribly wrong.
Dialdirect has noticed an unprecedented spike in claims for accidental damage to home contents with damage to televisions resulting in a 30% increase in claims.
According to Anneli Retief, Head of Dialdirect: “Accidental damage claims arise from unexpected and non-deliberate incidents, not wear and tear or mechanical failure. It’s those whoops moments that happen in a flash. If your short-term insurance does not cover you for accidental damages, you’ll have to cover the costs of damages resulting from DIY mishaps from your own pocket, and it can cost you dearly.”
So, if you’re planning to get stuck into a home improvement project yourself, first check with your insurer that you will be covered should anything go wrong. If you are covered for accidental damage, find out exactly what is covered.
Retief stresses that while insurance certainly provides a welcome financial cushion in the event of an accident, policyholders should take all the precautionary steps possible in order to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
“Ask yourself whether you honestly have the skills for the job before you even start. If you aren’t sure of what you’re doing, the risk of a mishap is substantially higher. Remember that you will definitely need expert advice if you are planning changes to plumbing or wiring or if you are undertaking gas installations,” warns Retief.
Dialdirect Insurance offers this advice to budding DIY enthusiasts:
- Do some online research before you start.
- Check for hidden pipe or wire behind walls. Hardware stores sell inexpensive detectors that can tell you where they are.
- When fitting shelves, TVs and other items to the wall, make sure to use a suitable fixing.
- Follow the instructions on flat pack furniture to the letter.
- Ensure that your tools, such as drills, saws and the like, are in good working order and keep them out of reach of pets and children.
- When using power tools make sure you have read the instructions thoroughly first and take extra care.
- Wear a mask and goggles.
- Ensure that you have adequate ventilation.
- Cover furniture, appliances, carpets and floors when painting.
- Make sure your step ladder is firmly in place before making your climb.
- Keep a first aid kit readily available.
- Turn off water and power at the mains before commencing any work involving wiring, pipes or taps.