Business & Economy

Tuesday, 27 March 2018 09:55

Taking a break this Easter? Prep like a pro with this easy checklist

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Before you pack your bags and break out the Easter eggs, take a little time to make sure that your hard-earned and precious items are correctly insured and secure while you’re away. 

Mandy Barrett of insurance brokerage and risk advisors, Aon South Africa offers a handy pre-holiday checklist to make sure your quality R&R time is not unpleasantly interrupted. “Prevention is better than cure, and a checklist ensures that nothing slips through the cracks.  With a little planning, you’ll be ready to hit the holidays with the peace of mind that your home and everything in it are secure while you’re away,” says Mandy. 

At Home:

  • Leave a spare set of keys, as well as a contact address and phone number with a trusted neighbour or nearby family member in case of an emergency, such as a fire, a burglary or re-setting your alarm.
  • Test the response of your security company to your alarm and notify them or your neighbourhood watch that you are going away.
  • Appoint a reputable house-sitting service to keep tabs on your property and to switch on lights, feed pets, clear post boxes, water plants and put out rubbish bins on collection day.
  • If you are not appointing a house sitter, ensure you lock windows and doors, close all taps tightly, turn off the geyser and set your security alarm system.  Also remember to disconnect computers, TVs and other lightning-sensitive equipment and to cancel any newspaper subscriptions.
  • Remember that social media feeds can increase your risk of break ins, so don’t advertise the fact that you are on holiday.  Hide the tell-tale signs that no-one is home. 
  • Check your ‘all risks’ cover to ensure that those expensive cameras, sunglasses, cell phones and gadgets that travel with you are insured.
  • Join your local Whatsapp community group to keep a finger on the pulse while on vacation.
  • Check your insurance policy to see if you have added benefits such as roadside assistance or home assist and save the details to your phone, as it may come in handy to remotely deal with unexpected complications such as plumbing or electrical faults.
  • Remember to pay your utility bill – you don’t need a power or water cut while you are away.
  • Lock the mains box outside the property (burglars may trip this in the hope your alarm and fence batteries run flat), lock away garden implements and tools that can be used to force open and doors or windows.

For your car

  • Make sure your motor insurance is up to date and that the value of your vehicle is correct.
  • Check that any trailers and cars you use on holiday are roadworthy and properly licensed.
  • Get your car serviced and check tire tread and inflation, windscreen wipers, oil and water. Make sure you have a functional spare wheel, jack, wheel spanner, safety triangle and jumper cables.
  • Repair any cracks or chips in your windscreen.
  • Make sure your tracking device is operational.
  • Pay any outstanding traffic fines.
  • Ensure your driver’s licence is still valid and if you are travelling outside SA, check the territorial limits of your cover regarding cross-border requirements – some countries insist on license papers or proof of insurance.
  • When exiting your car, physically check that your car doors are locked before walking away from the vehicle.
  • Get enough rest before heading out on the open road and take regular stops to refresh and stay alert while driving.   

On holiday

  • When on holiday, be extra vigilant – holiday chalets are often targeted by burglars as people often let their guards down and leave doors unlocked and windows open.  There’s no fun in coming home from the beach to find your valuables, cash and bank cards stolen. 
  • If you’re flying to your destination, make sure you are insured for loss or theft of your luggage.
  • If you’re going aboard, get travel insurance to cover you for any medical emergencies or mishaps as many medical aids don’t provide cover outside of South Africa.
  • Take medical aid details/card with and save the number of your insurance broker on your phone. It’s also a good idea to have a 24-hour breakdown assist on quick dial.  

With the fast-paced lifestyles we live and the demands made on our time during the year, make sure your holiday checks are done and your insurance policies are current and up to date so that the only thing you need to worry about this holiday is your rest and relaxation.

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