06 December 2021

Top Tips to keep the holidays festive and your assets safe

Submitted by Teresa Settas

Let’s face it – most of us cannot wait to see the back of 2021 - and are desperate for some much-needed R&R. Before you immerse yourself in the holidays, take a little time to make sure that your hard-earned and precious items are correctly insured and secure.

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 enjoy the holidays with the peace of mind that your home and everything in it is secure,” says Mandy.

Aon South Africa offers the following insurance and risk management tips to keep the holidays festive and your assets safe:

  1. With load shedding likely to be a constant companion for years to come, safety and security is top of mind. Stay vigilant and keep doors locked, your phone charged and the number of your security service provider handy.
  2. Power surges are also an unfortunate by-product of load shedding that can do serious damage to your sensitive electrical appliances and devices. Consider adding a surge protector switch to your electric mains board that will prevent any surges from blowing your appliances when the power is restored!
  3. Many households are opting to beat power cuts by acquiring back-up and renewable energy solutions, ranging from generators through to solar photovoltaic (PV) and inverter solutions. It’s important to update your insurance cover with these new additions, as well as any other renovations and acquisitions you may have made to your home during the year. Make sure that you add these items to your homeowners insurance and increase your sums insured to cover you for the additional value that these items represent.  
  4. Insure expensive gifts such as consumer electronics and jewellery before you even leave the store. Plan your shopping trip and talk to your broker beforehand about putting cover in place for your new purchases, immediately.
  5. How comprehensive is your motor vehicle insurance? It is likely one of your biggest investments, making it crucial to review your cover to ensure you are covered for every eventuality, including hail damage, mag damage and the like. Also take note of any roadside assistance that are included in your cover and add these numbers to your contact list.
  6. According to the latest SAPS crime statisticshijackings have nearly doubled to 5,146 incidences in the last year, which equates to an average of 14 hijackings a day. Most happen in driveways making it crucial to stay alert when arriving at or leaving home or work. If the power is out due to load shedding – phone ahead and get someone to open the gate for you if your gate motor is on manual, rather than stopping in your driveway which leaves you vulnerable while getting in and out of your car.
  7. Review the ‘all risks’ section of your insurance policy to make sure that all items that are taken out of your home, such as your camera, laptop, iPad, cell phones and smart watches and even your sports gear like golf clubs and biking gear, are covered. Also check handbag content cover as replacing your designer bag and its contents such as a make-up bag, banking cards, identification documents, keys, remotes and the like can add up to a hefty total.
  8. If you are capitalising on the ‘sharing economy and renting out your holiday home over the holiday season, speak to your broker about liability and damage risks to make sure that your insurance covers are correctly scoped. Remember that your regular homeowner’s insurance won’t cover you if you’re renting out your property for a commercial venture, such as holiday letting.

With a little planning, attention to your surroundings and security precautions, you can mitigate a lot of risk. 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.  Happiest of holidays and stay safe!