It’s that time of the year again and individuals are planning for the fast approaching holiday season. For most families in South Africa, this is an opportunity to relax and unwind with family and friends, and to perhaps even enjoy a holiday in another country or province. However, this is also the time of year when criminal activity is on the increase.

According to Soul Abraham, Head: allsure & Group Schemes Personal Lines at Mutual & Federal, “Although the holiday season is a time for relaxation, it is also a time when individuals need to ensure that their property and belongings are safeguarded. When traveling for extended periods of time individuals need to follow some guidelines to help mitigate risks associated with the holiday period.

Mutual & Federal advises consumers to follow these guidelines ahead of the holiday season:

1. Insure your boat, trailer or anything else that you may tow along your travels.
Insurance companies need to know if you are using your vehicle to tow your caravan, boat or trailer as there are certain height and weight restrictions that need to be met. If this is not abided by, claims may not be paid out.

2. Pull the plug on electronic devices.
Ensure that you unplug your electronic equipment, geyser and water supply, as well as other appliances that will not be used whilst you are away. This will help you save on electricity, and also save guard your equipment should an electrical surge take place or your geyser burst.

3. Visibility is key to prevent criminal activity.
Unfortunately, criminals are aware that individuals are going on holiday and leaving their premises for extended periods of time during the holiday season. This equates to an increase in house break-ins. According to Mutual & Federal, December 2014 saw an increase of xxx claims for house break-ins during December and January. To minimise your risk, there are a number of small things that can be done to steer criminals clear of your home. For example, ask a family member or friend to visit daily – showing activity at home; leave a light on at night and have someone remove dated newspapers that are visible from your home. Furthermore, ensure that the person looking after your home has all your contact details should they need to contact
you for any emergency.

4. Make 100% sure all your valuable equipment and devices are insured.
Make sure that all your belongings of value (smartphones, tablets etc.) are insured. Should you lose or break something while away, you are covered to claim back from your insurance.

Abraham concludes: “Although we are all gearing for the end of the year and planning our much needed breaks, we need to make sure that all aspects of risk are mitigated. Following these simple tips will help you enjoy your holiday with the peace of mind that you are covered.”

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