As the holiday season approaches, many South Africans are gearing up for well-deserved breaks, often leaving their homes unoccupied for extended periods. This scenario, while typical, poses a unique set of risks to your property, from potential burglaries to unforeseen damages that could occur in your absence. Risk Benefit Solutions Insurance Brokers (RBS), one of South Africa’s leading insurance advisory firms, emphasizes the importance of ensuring that your home is holiday-ready, not just in terms of security but also in terms of adequate insurance coverage.
Understanding Your Home Insurance Policy
Before you set off on your holiday, it’s crucial to understand the details of your home insurance policy. Many homeowners need to be fully aware of the terms and conditions of their policies, which can lead to significant challenges in the event of a claim. RBS advises all homeowners to review their policies and look for specific clauses that pertain to being away from home for extended periods. Some policies may have stipulations that require you to take particular measures before you leave, such as securing all locks and activating your alarm system, to ensure complete coverage.
Regular Maintenance Checks
A well-maintained home is often a well-protected one. Before leaving, conduct a thorough check of your property. This includes clearing gutters, checking for roof damage, and ensuring that your plumbing is in good order and that your electrical systems are functioning correctly. These proactive steps can prevent common holiday home disasters such as water damage from storms or electrical fires. If you leave for a few weeks, switch off your hot water geysers to extend their lifespan and save electricity costs.
In South Africa, where security is a significant concern for many homeowners, taking additional security measures is essential. RBS recommends investing in a reliable alarm system and security gates, plus linking your property to a reputable armed response service. Informing your neighbours and neighbourhood watch of your absence can also add a layer of security, as they can report any suspicious activity to authorities.
Insurance Coverage for Unoccupied Homes
If your home will be unoccupied for your holiday, it is best to notify your insurance brokers. Some policies may only provide cover if a home is occupied for certain days. RBS can guide you through arranging for an endorsement or a temporary increase in coverage to protect your home while you’re away.
Valuables and Personal Property
Ensure that your home insurance policy covers the contents of your home adequately. This includes all your valuables and personal property. You may need to specify high-value items in your policy to cover them. RBS can assist in evaluating your contents and ensuring that your coverage meets the value of your possessions.
Having an emergency plan in place is another recommendation from RBS. This should include a list of emergency contacts, such as your insurance broker, a trusted neighbour, and local authorities. Additionally, ensure that you have easy access to your insurance policy details and the claims process should you need to initiate a claim from afar.
Leaving your home for a holiday should not be overshadowed by concerns about your property’s safety and security. With RBS, you can rest assured that your home is protected by a comprehensive insurance policy tailored to your unique needs. By ensuring your home is holiday-ready, you can enjoy your time away with the peace of mind that your most valuable asset is well taken care of.
For more information or to arrange a consultation to review your home insurance coverage, contact RBS Insurance Brokers today. Let us help you secure your sanctuary this holiday season.
Risk Benefit Solutions, better known as RBS, originated as an entrepreneurial-focused services business in 1998 and today is one of the largest fully-fledged black-owned insurance brokers in South Africa and a Level One BBBEE contributor. Celebrating 25 years in business this year, our growth has contributed to offering clients a unique approach to risk management by positioning our skilled resources as an extension of our client’s risk management team. Our company covers various services, including Insurance Broking, Risk Management, Commercial and Corporate Risk Advisors, and Corporate Vehicle Hire Services. With its head office in Cape Town, RBS has offices in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and globally, represented through its board membership with WING (Worldwide Insurance Network Group).