Not home for the holidays? Remember prevention is better than cure.

Getting out of the regular nine-to-five grind and our play-by-numbers homely routine to enjoy the festive season elsewhere, is something we all look forward to.

But before you lock and leave, remember that the December holiday period can also have a dark side if you’re ill-prepared. More specifically, if you’re inadequately insured when it comes to your home and vehicle.

Break-ins, burst geyser pipes and road accidents are just a few of the adverse happenings that significantly increase during this busy time. Most can be insured against but need to be managed as much as possible in order to prevent insurance claims from being denied.

Your Home

Check the battery powering your house alarm and security system. An insurer is highly likely to repudiate a claim if the system was not activated during the time of the break-in. If the house’s power is cut and the battery is not operational, the insurer also has good reason not to pay. Call your security company to check alarm batteries and replace them if needs be before you leave.

Check your geysers before going on holiday. The state of a geyser declines over time and burst pipes can become a massive problem. The longer a defective geyser is left, the more extensive the water damage to ceilings, floors and home contents will be and the cost of the damage could exceed the specified limit of your policy. It’s recommended to have your geysers checked and replaced if necessary every year. Also, maybe turn your geysers off at the switchbox during your away time to be extra safe.

On the Road

Trailers and caravans can also quickly fall into your insurer’s ‘claim rejected’ out-box. You need to be aware that an ordinary driver’s license (Code B) only allows you to tow trailers lighter than 750kg. For anything larger, such as a caravan, you need a Code EB license. This legislation has been around for many years, yet many drivers are still oblivious to it.

You also need to take the travelling weight of your trailer contents into account. Items such as gas bottles, a braai, filled cooler boxes and other camping equipment could easily put the total weight of your trailer over 750kg. In the event of an accident, an insurer could possibly deny any claims by arguing that the driver was not properly licensed to tow anything over a specified weight.

Out and About

Cellphone grabs and handbag grabs are quick and easy for petty thieves when you’re walking down promenades, waiting in car queues to get to the beach parking or sitting at an outside eatery. New footage shows that these days, parents also use their cute kids to linger and snatch bags next to tables!

Watch the video here

Mall robberies also increase significantly over this period. So be SUPER vigilant at all times, as most businesses do not provide insurance cover for their clients.

Prevention is always better than cure. Please take extra precaution during this holiday period and make sure you’re fully covered. For total peace of mind, chat to your broker to check if needs be.