As a child one much anticipated camping holiday turned sour when my parents received a call from their alarm company to let them know our home has been broken into. The trip back home was sullen to say the least, with grumpy kids and upset adults because on top of the unknown state of affairs at home the camping grounds refused to refund the accommodation already paid for as we would be leaving the same day we arrived.
Fortunately, from what I remember, there were no issues for my parents when they had to claim, a silver lining. But it could have turned out so much worse if their insurance was not comprehensive or if the claim was rejected as a result of oversight on my parents’ side.
Nazeer Hoosen, CEO of PPS short-term insurance says that consumers need to be aware of the risk involved with neglecting home maintenance and insurance essentials over this period. “When consumers educate themselves about preventative measures they can take to protect their assets, the likelihood of having an insurance claim rejected reduces significantly,” he adds.
“Policyholders should contact their insurance provider or broker to inform them that they are planning on taking a holiday,” says Hoosen. “This will enable the consumer to ensure that their policies are sufficiently updated and that they are fully aware of and understand the full extent of their cover.”
Here are the insurance and maintenance checks consumers need to undertake before putting their feet up for the holidays.
Home maintenance checks
With the recent extreme weather conditions and the likelihood of a La Nina phenomenon this year, it would be wise to take some basic precautionary measures to ensure that your property is protected against any damage or loss as a result of severe weather.
Regularly do roof checks for missing, worn or broken roofing materials that could allow water to infiltrate and weaken your roof’s structure. Look around for any water spots, standing water or mould. 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 you ensure that your CCTV camera, alarm and all surveillance systems are in a proper working order before leaving 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 your insurance policy, the insurance claim is likely to get rejected.
Insurance of expensive belongings
If you plan to take expensive devices such as iPads and smart phones with on your holiday you may 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 jewellery, electronic equipment etc., must be specified in order to be covered when taken out of the home.
If you are planning a lengthy road trip please conduct the required full vehicle safety checks before embarking on your journey. 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.
Always take road and traffic conditions into consideration when on your journey and adjust your speed and following distance accordingly. Take the possibility of longer travelling time into account and exercise patience if a journey takes longer than originally anticipated.
Being proactive and ensuring that all conditions of your insurance policies are adhered to means you won’t be faced with unhappy surprises in the case of financial losses due to damage theft or losses during the festive season.