As the year begins to wind down and people start to plan and look forward to the holiday period, it is important that consumers ensure they are financially covered in the event of theft, loss or damage to personal belongings to avoid a holiday hangover.
This is according to Nazeer Hoosen, CEO of PPS Short-Term Insurance, who urges all South Africans to not neglect home maintenance and insurance essentials before they embark on vacation. “When consumers educate themselves about preventative measures they can take to protect their assets, the likelihood of having an insurance claim rejected reduces significantly.”
It is advisable that policyholders contact their insurance provider or broker to inform them that they will be on holiday to ensure that their policies are sufficiently updated and that they understand the full extent of their cover, says Hoosen.
He provides the below breakdown of insurance checks that consumers should consider before they go on holiday;
Home maintenance checks
With the recent extreme weather conditions and the likelihood of a La Nina phenomenon this year, all policyholders are advised to take some basic precautionary measures to ensure that they protect themselves against any damage or loss that might be caused by heavy rainfall and hail.
Home owners should regularly check their roof for missing, worn or broken roofing materials that could allow water to infiltrate and weaken the roof’s structure. Look around for any water spots, standing water or mold. Watch out for pooling of water, especially on a flat roof, because if this is not corrected it can lead to problems at claims stage. It is essential to ensure all gutters are cleaned, as a build-up of leaves or other debris can cause water puddles on the roof, resulting in both rotting and leaks if left unattended.
Conducting visual inspections of possible plumbing leaks in the kitchen, bathroom and even the laundry room, is a must. When taps are leaking from the spout it is probable that the washers may need to be replaced.
It is also important that the home owner ensures that their CCTV camera, alarm and all surveillance systems are in a proper working order before they leave their house for the holidays. If a break-in occurs and an investigation reveals that the alarm didn’t work and a working alarm is stipulated as a requirement in the insurance policy, the insurance claim is likely to get rejected.
Insurance of expensive belongings
Those who are planning to take portable devices, such as iPads and smart phones, with them as they go on holiday face the risk of these items not being covered in the event of theft or loss. It is advised to contact your insurance provider to confirm the terms and conditions of cover, prior to leaving on holiday. In most instances, portable items of significant value such as golf clubs, expensive jewelry, electronic equipment etc., must be specified in order to be covered when taken out of the home.
In addition, motorists planning to embark on a journey and travel far distances on the road are urged to ensure that they conduct full vehicle safety checks before they leave on their trip. This includes checking tyre treads, making sure lights and wipers are in working order and ensuring that the vehicle is in a proper roadworthy condition.
It is very important to drive at a slower and safer pace when the road is busy. Motorists should take longer travelling time into account and be patient as it is likely to take them longer to reach their destination than they might have anticipated. Impatience may cause the driver to take chances when trying to overtake slower driving vehicles, which is extremely dangerous for everybody on the road.
“By taking action and ensuring that all the conditions of the insurance policy are adhered to, people can be sure that they have protected themselves against an insurance claim repudiation should they face financial losses due to damages or losses during the festive season,” concludes Hoosen.