Photo: File
Photo: File

An insurance checklist to prepare for the festive season holiday

By Supplied Time of article published Nov 19, 2020

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By Sumarie Greybe

The December holidays are looming, and many South Africans are getting ready to take some leave.

Whether you’re planning a long road trip to satisfy your wanderlust after lockdown, or whether you’re just planning a weekend away somewhere close, there are a few things you can do to protect your home and your vehicle.

Here is a checklist that will help keep your car and home safe and help you avoid any problems claiming from your home or car insurance should something go wrong while you’re on holiday.

For your home insurance policy

Must-dos to ensure your claim will be valid

  • Check that all external locks and safety doors in your home are in good condition and securely locked.
  • Activate your alarm and ensure you have a valid subscription with an armed response company (especially if you told your insurer that you have an alarm).
  • Ensure people like gardening services and other contractors do not have a key to enter your house while you are away.
  • Minimise any obvious water hazards – for example, don’t leave an indoor fountain running while you’re away and there’s no one in your house.

Extra tips

  • Let your armed response company know you’ll be away. Ask them to respond immediately without phoning if there’s an alarm, especially if you won’t always be easy to reach on your mobile.
  • Consider switching the geyser off to save electricity and reduce the risk of it bursting. Even think about switching off the water mains if you’ll be away for a long time to avoid damage from burst pipes.
  • If you’re taking valuables like your phone, laptop, camera, and sports equipment with on your holiday make sure they’re all insured for their full value by specifying them in your home contents policy.
  • If you don’t have home contents insurance, but worry about your smartphone or MacBook getting stolen, consider getting standalone cover from a digital insurance provider. You can get a quote and buy within seconds.

For your car insurance policy

Must-dos to ensure your claim will be valid

  • Your vehicle licence disc needs to be renewed once a year. While most insurance providers are mindful that the lockdown made it difficult for people to renew in time, it is important to renew sooner rather than later given that the grace period for licence renewals ended on 31 August.
  • Ensure all drivers for your car have up-to-date driving licences. The licence needs to be renewed every five years, which includes an eye test. If your driver’s expired between 26 March and 31 August, it is valid until 31 January 2021. If it expired before lockdown, it is no longer valid. If you haven’t renewed it, we recommend that you do so as soon as possible.
  • To improve road safety and ensure a hassle-free claims experience if something bad happens on the road, make sure that your car is roadworthy. Ask a tyre fitment centre to check that your tread isn’t worn out, check that your indicators and brake lights are working, and get your brake pads checked if they have not been replaced for a long time.
  • Do not exceed the size or weight limit of the roof rack, bike rack or storage mechanisms like a Thule. Overloading increases the risk of those items being damaged or those items doing damage to other cars if they fall off. It also increases your risk of being in an accident because of the car’s balance being off.

Extra tips

  • If you have added expensive accessories and extras to your car – such as a roof-rack, bull bar, xenon lights, or extra sound equipment – update your policy to ensure they are covered.
  • Keep your insurance provider’s roadside emergency number on hand so that you call for help if you have an accident or engine trouble. The more progressive insurers will also allow you to seek emergency assistance from their mobile app.

Sumarie Greybe is the co-founder at Naked, the AI-driven car insurance provider

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