Know Risk is a community education program designed by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) to improve our understanding of insurance and how it relates to managing the many risks we all face in life.
Super power can hurt
While Kryptonite is Superman’s… well Kryptonite, power surges can be just as damaging to our electronic equipment (which we need, to watch Superman). Power surges are extremely fast rises in voltage and can destroy sensitive and expensive equipment without a moment’s warning.
Most home and contents insurance policies won’t cover items damaged by a power surge however it can be often be selected as extra cover. Always check with your insurer to see if it is included.
Here are some tips on protecting your equipment from power surges
1. Unplug appliances at the power point before a storm arrives.
Most power surges come as a result of nearby lightning strikes, branches falling onto power lines or strong winds making power lines touch. So while this seems like a simple thing to do, it is one of the most effective least costly ways to protect your gear.
2. Get some surge protector power boards
Available in most electronic stores, surge protection boards will protect any appliance plugged into them from surges within your home or from the street connection. They can be installed by anyone and most come with a warranty covering damage from a surge for any connected appliance. Remember though that protection boards can only protect appliances that are connected, they won’t stop your light fittings, fridges, alarm systems or anything else that isn’t plugged into them getting damaged.
3. Install surge protection at the meter panel
The most costly of these options, surge protection installed in your meter panel or switchboard will protect your whole house from power surges entering your home. This type of protection needs to be installed by a qualified electrician and is usually destroyed once it has taken a hit from a power surge. It’s always a good idea to check your surge protection after storms and at least every six months.