Whether your home for the holidays is a beach cabana, bush tent or simple pleasures of home, take these important safety checks so that nothing spoils your well-deserved break.
Aon South Africa, a leading insurance brokerage offers some holiday tips to make your days jolly and your worries naught over the festive season:
Before you leave home
- Spare keys – leave a set and your contact number with a trusted neighbour/house sitter in case of an emergency or re-setting your alarm. Cancel newspaper subscriptions before you leave.
- Test your alarm – and notify your security company that you are going away.
- All risks cover – Check that all travelling items are covered under your ‘All Risks’ on your contents policy.
- Medical aid – take your medical aid card and check if you have cover outside of SA’s borders if travelling abroad. Top up with travel insurance.
- Roadside assistance – Get 24-hour breakdown assist on quick dial.
- Load shedding – increases the chances of power surges so disconnect computers, TVs and sensitive equipment. Empty your fridge/freezer – there’s nothing like a rotten mess when you get home.
On the road
- Make sure your motor insurance is up to date.
- Check that any trailers and cars are roadworthy and properly licensed.
- Get your car serviced and check tyres, wipers, oil and water, spare wheel, jack, wheel spanner, safety triangle and jumper cables.
- Test your tracking device.
- Pay outstanding traffic fines.
- Ensure your driver’s licence is valid and check the territorial limits of your insurance cover if going cross-border. Some countries insist on license papers or proof of insurance.
- Car jamming – physically check that your car doors are locked before walking away from your vehicle – criminals lurk to empty out your valuables in a matter of seconds.
While you’re away
- Stay vigilant – Opportunistic criminals look for soft targets who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. Lock up when you go out and don’t leave valuables in plain sight. Cell phones, handbags and wallets left carelessly are easy targets as are banking cards that are cloned when you’re not paying attention. Activate banking sms notifications so you can pick up unauthorised transactions.
- Keep it to yourself – sharing details about your holiday on social media platforms may be tempting, but it also broadcasts that you’re not at home.
- Christmas gifts – Arrange insurance cover on gifts such as jewellery and appliances before you purchase them so they’re covered when you leave the store.
Chilling at home
- Be vigilant – watch for loiterers or unfamiliar people scanning the area. If anything seems out of place, notify your armed response company.
- Activate your alarm – burglars don’t need a lot of time to make off with your household contents and vehicles. If your policy has an ‘alarm warranty’ and you don’t arm it when the property is unattended, you could find your claim rejected or the settlement reduced if you’re burgled.
- Update your insurance policy – check that your insurance policy is updated with new assets or building alterations done during the year.
- Get Handy – get those home maintenance jobs done that you never have time for during the year – all homeowner’s insurance policies require that you maintain your home and take measures to prevent loss in the first place.