Are you sure you are Insured?

Property insurance has become tradition in South Africa, a vast majority of South African citizens discern some tranquillity from the thought of being covered should anything happen to their property or assets. Customary property installations such as Air Conditioning and Refrigeration units are seldom considered when insuring property. However, years of faithful Insurance instalments can prove despondent without a valid Certificate of Conformity.

What is a Certificate of Conformity?

A Certificate of Conformity (COC) for Gas installations is a legal document which must be obtained whenever a gas system or appliance is installed, modified or repaired and should be retained for probable future requirement.

According to the Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER), refrigerators and air conditioning units that use refrigerant gas should meet the specified standards to ensure safety.

These regulations set out the requirements regarding the design, manufacture, operation, repair, modification, maintenance, inspection and testing of pressure equipment. When a COC is issued for an installation, this proves that the installation is safe and compliant with the regulations set.  In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, the PER also requires persons handling the installation of any gas systems to undergo specific training and to be registered with the South African Qualification and Certification Committee – Gas (SAQCC Gas). Only a Registered Gas Practitioner can issue a COC for any air conditioning or refrigeration units installed.

COC and Insurance Pay-outs

Commonly, people are oblivious to the significance of having a valid COC for all air conditioners or/and refrigeration units on their property, insurance companies often omit this kind of information when sealing an agreement. It is an overwhelming fact that you could be faithfully paying insurance instalments yet end up receiving no aid due to the absence of a valid COC. This truth should incite owners to use registered gas installers and demand a COC upon conclusion.

The majority of insurance companies would require this certificate to prove that the installation was safe and had been serviced regularly.” Lanice Steward- managing director of Knight Frank Anne Porter

Should there be no valid Certificate of Conformity, many insurance companies will not accept liability for costs of damage caused to property or assets. The loss and damage suffered by an owner/user due to an air conditioner or refrigerant unit installation for which a valid COC has not been issued, falls entirely on the owner. Regardless of cost of reparation, the insurance will most likely not cover it.

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