Insurance for your holiday home - don’t let the Grinch steal Christmas

You may think if you’ll be staying in your holiday home, why worry about insurance? If you’re going to be around, it should be perfectly safe. Unfortunately, this time of year can mean criminals are taking bigger risks for hopefully bigger rewards, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

“Many of us end up taking our bicycles or sporting equipment with us on holiday, not to mention our favourite clothing, accessories and any presents that come along.  These are all costly to replace,” says Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure.

Imagine if you go out for dinner with your family one evening and come home to find your holiday house has been broken into and goods stolen. Or if an accident should happen and the entire house is flooded, with lots of damages.  “Without sufficient insurance, it will really be a situation like the Grinch stealing Christmas,” he says.

It is essential to have contents cover that truly covers the full value of the goods you own and have in your holiday home.  If you are underinsured, you may well end up remembering this as the worst holiday because you had to replace so many items yourself. “If, for example, you insure your contents for R100 000 and the value is really closer to R500 000, it could mean that only a fifth of your claim will be paid out. Your insurance pay-out will be in line with the percentage you are underinsured by,” he says.

It is also very important to adhere to the terms and conditions of your policy. “What this means is that if your policy states that you have a locked security gate on the front door, it needs to be in place and locked at the time of the break in to avoid the claim being repudiated.”

Of course we must always do our best to ensure our personal safety, so do take precautions whether you are at the house or not. Keep unattended entrance points locked, especially if you are playing loud music and spending time out in the back garden. “If you leave your front door open, you will likely come up against some issues if you need to claim,” Visser says. Close your curtains at night whether you are home or not, make sure you close the windows too even if you just want to pop out to the shop. Always keep your car locked and don’t advertise that you have new expensive goods.

“Don’t throw out a big, new TV box for all to see, or any packaging from new items that could be a temptation to thieves. Criminals keep an eye on wheelie bins, so be sensible in how you dispose of packaging you no longer need,” Visser adds.

“Have a safe holiday by behaving safely. Don’t start the New Year as a victim of crime simply because you have not been vigilant, and remember that holiday home insurance should be in place all year round,” he concludes.

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