Smart Geysers Could Save You A Fortune

17 December 2021 Santam

South Africa, 15 December 2021: Last year, the country’s largest short-term insurer, Santam,  paid its clients over R366 million for claims related to burst geysers and water pipes. 2020 saw claims relating to burst geysers go up by 16% in comparison to the year before, which is unusual. A burst water pipe can cost over R35000 to fix. With most South Africans households spending 75% of their take-home salaries on debt, getting caught off guard by a burst geyser could have serious financial consequences. 

Prevention Is Better Than The Cure 

Head of Non-Motor Claims at Santam Insurance Rowland Ramalingam says, “One possible explanation for this anomaly could be the fact that people are spending a lot more time at home than they would have in the past. This increases the wear and tear on geysers and other in-home appliances. Load-shedding also increases the risk of power surges and can wreak havoc on your electrical devices across the board. The same reasoning could extend to a similar increase in other plumbing-related claims.” 

He continues, “Investing in preventative measures is the best way to keep your costs down when it comes to a building’s insurance. Smart geysers have the potential to provide clients with unparalleled peace of mind and help ensure that claims get processed as efficiently as possible.” 

By some estimates, replacing and installing a small geyser can cost around R7 500. That is before you factor in the damage that may have been done to various electronics, floors, artwork, clothes, and other home contents. Smart geysers help prevent that by attaching a smart device to the geyser. This device can then be linked to a smartphone via an app, which will notify the user about leaks or when it detects trouble is on the horizon. 

“With this device, geysers will automatically shut off the water and electricity to limit the resulting damage. It will also send notifications to the insurer, allowing them to quickly process and resolve any resultant claims,” says Ramalingam. 

Don’t Land Up In Hot Water: 

Industry research shows that most geysers only have an expected lifespan of around seven years and when they rupture it can cost a small fortune to repair. Without a smart geyser, it can be incredibly difficult to predict just when a geyser will burst.  Similarly, burst water pipes are often among the most common homeowner claims to occur, according to Santam Insurance. 

"Burst pipes can vary in price from R700 to up to R35 000 or more to repair, depending on the location of the pipe and the action required to repair it," says Inclusive Plumbers’ Association spokesperson and qualified plumber Geoff Pyp. 

If you are not insured or underinsured this can be a potentially crippling cost to absorb. Fortunately from the 15 December to 31 January, all Santam clients will enjoy 10% extra cover on the contents of their home – absolutely free. Santam offers this to ensure that you have sufficient cover over the season of gifting and buying.” 

With a smart geyser, homeowners can manage their geyser temperature and heating schedule from anywhere via the smart application. 

“The main benefit of smart technology is that we can prevent any potential incidents before they happen. Our customers can benefit by either having a potential incident completely averted or the resultant damage significantly reduced by early detection. Customers can also save on electricity and ensure a lighter impact on the environment by using this technology,” says Ramalingam. 

Depending on the service provider, the device can cost anywhere between R1 200 and R2 500 which is a lot less than what one would end up shelling out if it weren’t installed and the geyser burst.

Ramalingam concludes, “The more time spent at home, the greater the wear-and-tear on our pipes and geysers, this is especially true during the festive season where many of us will be hosting friends and family for extended periods. Taking steps to protect yourself in these situations is the best gift you can give your family this festive season.”



Quick Polls


There are countless articles written about South Africa’s poor retirement outcomes. Which of the following would you single out as the biggest contributor to local savers not accumulating enough to buy an adequate and sustainable pension?


Lack of personal accountability
Poor participation in formal retirement funds
Reluctance to seek financial advice early on
SA’s high unemployment rate
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