Here is an emergency kit for all your festive season travel needs

By Vernon Pillay Time of article published Dec 9, 2020

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We can all agree that 2020 has been quite a year and we’re ready to move on to the next chapter. Though we may be in the ‘new normal’ there is unlikely to be a normal December or festive season ahead. Some of us will work through what would have been our end of year break, given how tough the lockdown period was during the highest levels.

For those who are fortunate enough to take a break, even if just a weekend or day trip, safety needs to be a priority. Many of us will be on the roads and accidents can become more likely, especially if we become impatient while driving.

A top tip is to keep a calm, clear head when you get behind the wheel. Over and above that, there are many important reminders to add to your checklist before you set off on a road trip.

Emergency kit all packed?

If you are planning to travel far by car, it’s important to keep some supplies on hand. From classic lifesavers like map books (in case your GPS fails you) to essential items like hand sanitiser and face masks, pack anything that could make being stranded on the side of the road more comfortable.

Depending on who is travelling with you (from children to pets and spouses), you might need some extra supplies including some entertainment and accessories (for example, dog bowls for water, a bottle of water to use and some food).

In an emergency like a breakdown or an accident, having your adviser’s contact details on hand helps. Don’t just save them on your cell phone - write them down so a dead battery doesn’t get in the way, and so that you are able to get emergency assistance from a reputable towing company. Keep in mind that using a tow truck company that isn’t approved by your insurer can end up costing you more, as your insurance company is unlikely to cover the costs.

Staying local?

Even if you are not heading anywhere further than your favourite restaurant this holiday season, you should check in on your cover. Your insurance might include some free rides home, which frees you up to taste the festivity of this time without taking any risks on the road. Drinking and driving should absolutely be avoided.

Is your car licence up to date?

We often forget to check and don’t allow sufficient time to get licensing sorted before it’s time to leave. Your holiday plans could include other vehicles like caravans, trailers and motorbikes. Any vehicles that may require a licence need to be considered. You might think going to a secluded town is less risky, but neglecting to have an up-to-date licence is inviting Murphy’s Law to rear its head. Unnecessary traffic fines can really spoil your holiday budget too.

While you are dotting i’s and crossing t’s, check your tyre tread as well and whether it falls within the legal limits.

Lots of leisure planned?

It’s one thing to have your surfboard covered while stored at home, but if you take it with you on holiday and it is lost or stolen, you could be in for a wave of loss unless you have all risk cover in place. The same is true for any other items coming along for the ride, from your GoPro camera, drone and bicycle to your new tennis and golf gear. Items you plan to take with you should be specified, even if temporarily for the holiday. There are also some insurance options that allow for a percentage of your contents cover to go towards all risk items, so it’s worth checking what is possible and if the percentage is enough to cover what you are taking with you, especially as global insurance cover may be included.

Having the right cover in place is reason to celebrate

Working closely with your adviser so that you are correctly covered before you take your foot off the brake this festive season, can help to ensure your financial well-being for years to come. Insurance is like an added safety net that follows you, provided you keep your cover up to date and in line with the risks unique to you.


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