We’ve all heard the horror stories – people returning from relaxing holidays only to find their homes have been cleaned out by burglars, a geyser has burst, or a power cut has caused defrosted meat juices to ruin their carpets.
Max Huggins, head of claims at MiWay, notes that any number of things can go wrong in a home while the owners are away on holiday. Burglaries, flooding, fire and lightning damage can all occur while you’re away.
Huggins says if you prepare well and your insurance cover is comprehensive enough, calamities in your home need not ruin your holiday.
“Well before you leave on your break, check that all your home security systems are fully functional and your armed response subscriptions are up to date. Ensure that your armed response company has your current cellphone number, and arrange with a trustworthy neighbour to keep an eye on your property while you’re on holiday,” says Huggins.
It’s also important to review your household insurance policy to check that your cover is adequate and your total insured value up to date. Take note of new items bought during the year and bits bought as gifts for the festive season.
“In addition, you should read your policy carefully to make sure you’ve met your obligations in terms of the policy. This will help prevent potential claims from being rejected.”
It’s also a good idea to save scans of important documents, as well as photos, receipts and serial numbers of expensive items in a secure folder online, so you can access them from anywhere should you need to report them stolen in a burglary.
Top tips to secure your home this holiday:
• Check that your house alarm works properly and is armed when you leave;
• Check that all security gates, burglar proofing and electric fences are secure, well maintained and in good working order;
• Lock away valuables in a safe;
• Close all windows;
• Ensure that all doors are locked;
• Unplug electrical devices not in use and turn off your geyser;
• Turn off the gas supply to your household appliances such as Gas stoves
• Make sure outside furniture, bicycles and other items in your yard are safely locked away;
• Let a trustworthy neighbour and your armed response company know that you’ll be away;
• Get someone to house-sit if possible or at least switch on lights in your home occasionally;
• Empty your fridge and freezer of perishables.
With your house properly secured and your insurer standing by in case anything goes wrong, you’re all set for a great summer holiday.