Ten tips for holiday harmony

2006-12-12 14:25
With millions of South Africans about to go away for the holiday season, the last thing people think about is potential problems that could arise while they enjoy a well earned break.

"It is vital that people spare a few moments to consider the health of their homes and cars. There is nothing that wipes away the holiday cheer like having a problem while away or returning home to a disaster," said Steffen Gilbert, Santam's Chief Executive.

So what can you do to ensure peace of mind over your holiday? Here are ten top insurance tips:

    1) Make sure that all your belongings at home, and those that you take with you on holiday are safe and that you have adequate and appropriate insurance.

    2) People don't think twice about getting extra insurance when going on an overseas trip, but when they travel within SA they rarely see the need to adapt their policy to ensure that their belongings are covered when they are on holiday. This is an easy process and can be done immediately.

    3) Underinsurance is one of the primary reasons why people don't get paid out enough when they claim if something gets lost or is stolen. However, ensuring that the cover you have is also broad enough is also important. If you recently purchased an expensive digital camera or cellphone that you would like to take with you on holiday, best you insure it under the "all risks" section of your policy.

    4) When on holiday, try to remain safety-conscious at all times. Make sure that your belongings are stored away in a safe place in the hotel or guest house where you are staying at. When in doubt have valuables stored in the hotel safe.

    5) It is also wise to have other valuables that you want to leave at home - like jewelery, placed in a safe at your local bank.

    6) Make sure that your vehicle is in a good working condition to avoid being stranded. Also avoid areas that look suspicious and park in a safe place.

    7) Vehicles can be stolen at any time and anywhere, which is why people should avoid parking their vehicles in a deserted area. Remember the golden rule - to immediately drive to the nearest police station or a public place if you think you are being followed.

    8) Also remember to inform your family, friends or trusty neighbour of your holiday plans and make arrangements with them to regularly empty your post box, have the lights switched on at night and cancel newspaper subscriptions timeously.

    9) Household appliances like geysers and fridges should be checked thoroughly. Also be sure that sinks with leaking taps are not left with the plug in. This is a major cause of flooding.

    10) Make sure all gutters and drains are clear - summer rains and blocked drains can lead to leaking roofs and damage to the interior of a house in some cases.

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