Holiday insurance tips

2013-12-15 14:00

The holiday season is already here. While this is your chance for a well-deserved break, make sure you take all the precautions necessary before you jump on the nearest plane or in your car.

1 Check that you are properly covered in your insurance policy for all of your household items.

“The amount for which you have insured your household contents should be equivalent to the amount it would cost to replace all your possessions with new ones at current prices,” says Martin Janse van Rensburg, spokesperson for Budget Insurance.

2 Lock sentimental and irreplaceable items away.

3 Create an updated inventory of all your household possessions.

4 Ideally, you should have burglar bars fixed to all opening windows, and security gates fitted to all external doors.

Most insurance companies will stipulate that you have an alarm system installed that is linked to a reliable armed response company.

Test your alarm response system at least twice a year to make sure that it is in proper working order.

5 Employ a house-sitter. A house that’s occupied is almost always safer than a house that’s empty.

See if you can get a trusted friend or relative to stay at your home while you are away.

Curtains being opened and closed, lights being switched on and off and the presence of a car in the driveway are all signs that people are coming and going.

6 Cancel your newspaper delivery or have someone collect it daily and empty out your post box.

7 Security while you’re away is often about appearances.

If you have a garden or potted plants in the driveway that are visible from the street, have someone come around regularly to maintain them.

Wilted plants and an overgrown lawn are a clear signal that your house is unoccupied.

8 If nobody will be house-sitting, put your lights on a timer in several rooms. If possible, try create a sequence for the lights that follows your day-to-day routine.

For example, set the timer to turn on the living room lights at sunset, as you would if you were home.

9 Switch off the taps in the kitchen that feed your washing machine and dishwasher, and switch off your geyser at the mains.

You don’t want the hassle of dealing with a burst geyser or pipes when you get back from your holiday.

Ruined carpets and damaged furniture are just a few of the results you would be forced to contend with.

10 Ensure that gutters are clean and that adequate draining measures are put in place for any areas around your home where water tends to pool.

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