Emergency assist
Home emergency tips

Your home is the one place you should be able to feel secure, but unfortunately burglaries, accidents, fire and other damage can happen to anyone, with devastating and often costly results.  Here we take a look at what you should do if you are faced with dealing with an emergency at home:  

If you are burgled  

If you enter your property and notice anything out of place, leave immediately as the intruders may still be inside.  Rather leave the premises and call the police from your cellphone, or from a neighbour’s home.  In addition: 

  • Don’t clean up or move anything until the police have had a chance to inspect the scene, or you could be damaging vital evidence. The police will want to take a statement from you, as well as photographs and fingerprints.
  • The police will also give you a case number. Keep this safe as you’ll need it for your insurance claim.
  • If your bank or credit cards have been stolen, call the bank’s emergency number and have them stopped. These services are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so don’t delay. If any important documents are missing, such as your passport, report that to the police too.
  • Check your home for damage and make a list of all the items that were stolen before you contact your insurer. If possible include items’ model and serial numbers, how much you paid for them, as well as any purchase receipts, instruction manuals or photographs you may have.  The more detail you provide, the more helpful the information will be to assist us in dealing with your claim quickly and efficiently.   

Important: Make sure that you report your claim within 30 days of the incident, and have your policy number handy when you call to submit your claim.  If you had previously prepared for the possibility of a loss by videotaping or photographing your possessions and filling out an Inventory Form, have this information available for the assessment. 

An Internal Claims Consultant, External Loss Adjuster or an investigator will be appointed and will contact you within 24 hours. 


If your geyser bursts


Burst pipes and geysers and the resulting water damage are common household emergencies.  Here’s what you should do if it happens to you: 

  • The first thing to do is switch off the geyser isolator switches on your main electrical distribution board.  If in doubt, switch off your main electricity supply.
  • Then turn off the water at the geyser inlet valve to minimise further water damage to ceilings, walls, carpeting and furniture.  If your geyser is inaccessible, or you are not sure where the valve is located, (or if you have a burst pipe) turn off your water at the mains.
  • Once the water and electricity have been switched off, open up all the hot taps – your bath, basins, shower, kitchen, etc.  This will drain out some of the hot water from the geyser, but its main purpose is to release the pressure in the geyser cylinder thereby making it leak less.
  • If you have switched off the main water supply to the whole house, you can also open up all the cold taps, as this will sometimes drain all the hot water from the geyser instead of it leaking onto your ceiling. 

If you have a Mutual & Federal Houseowners policy, call our Claims Department immediately to report the damage and an External Loss Adjuster or an investigator will be appointed and will contact you within 24 hours.

If you have storm, hail or flood damage


One thing we have no control over is the weather.  While we are relatively lucky in South Africa, we do occasionally have bad weather spells that can result in serious damage to property.  If your home is damaged by storm, hail or flood, make sure you do the following: 

  • In the event of a flood, dry up as much water as possible to minimise further damage (items like carpets and curtains can be saved if drying takes place promptly).  Remove furniture and household contents from wet areas.
  • If the flood is due to a burst water pipe, turn off the main water supply. 
  • If your home has been damaged during a storm (for example if a tree has fallen on the roof), or you have damage caused by hail, evaluate the damage so that you can describe it clearly to your insurer.  In need, board up any broken windows or doors.

If you have a Mutual & Federal Houseowners policy, call our Claims Department immediately to report the damage and an External Loss Adjuster or an investigator will be appointed and will contact you within 24 hours. 


If there is a fire

Experiencing a house fire is a frightening and upsetting experience. In the event of a fire, it is very important to know what to do to protect yourself and others from any possibility of harm.   

  • Contact the emergency services in your area immediately or call 10111. 
  • If you are inside the house when a fire starts, check where the fire is coming from. If there is smoke coming from under a door, do not open it.  Even if you don't see smoke, there could still be fire on the other side, so feel the door and doorknob with the back of your hand to see if it is warm or hot.  
  • If the door and doorknob are not hot, slowly open the door. If you can see an escape route, stay low to the ground – crawl on your hands and knees as fast as you can until you can get out of the house.  Don't walk upright – since smoke rises, you're more likely to inhale smoke if you are higher up. 
  • If you see smoke or fire coming from under a door, block the cracks in the door with towels, blankets or clothes so the smoke doesn't come in.  
  • Open a window and shout ‘FIRE’ as loud as you can. 
  • If you have water, wet a shirt or pillowcase and cover your mouth and nose so you don't breathe in too much smoke. 
  • If your clothes catch fire, drop to the floor and roll around to put out the flames. 
  • Do not re-enter the house or any other building that has been affected by a fire until you have been told it is safe to do so.

If you have a Mutual & Federal Houseowners, Home Contents or Personal Goods policy, notify us as soon as possible that you have a claim.  We have a system in place to deal rapidly with these types of substantial losses. 


Do you have enough cover?


Having up-to-date insurance cover will help to ensure that you are able to cope financially in the event of loss or damage to your home, its contents and your personal valuables.  If you are unsure about what level of cover you currently have, or you would like to find out more about the various types of cover available, call us now on 0860 22 55 63 or submit your details and we’ll call you back. 





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Benefits of exceptional insurance cover that meets your personal, business or agricultural needs, call us now on 0860 22 55 63 or submit your details above and we’ll call you back.

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