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Peace of mind this festive season

Your clients may be planning on getting merry this holiday season. It’s been another long, hard year, but the finish line is in sight and many of us are getting ready for some much needed down time. Don’t let mishaps and festive foibles spoil their plans.

First things first – few of us are able to enjoy such a long getaway, but your clients must notify you if their homes will be unoccupied for more than 60 consecutive days. This is called an unoccupied disclosure and without it, all cover stops. Unless, that is, you’ve agreed in writing and your client honours any additional premiums.

Theft is subject to forcible and violent entry and exit. Remind you clients to ensure that their possessions are kept safely. Negligence is unfortunately not insurable. Clients must make sure that valuable items such as laptops are concealed (i.e. out of sight) if left in a motor vehicle.

Do your policy holders know that loss of water by leakage is typically covered under personal lines insurance? This generally includes charges levied by a local authority for water lost through breakage or bursts from pipes in their water mains systems (up to the scheduled limit), is commonly subject to the consumption reading being at least 50% higher than the average of the preceding four readings, the insured taking immediate steps to make repairs on discovery of a leak (by physical evidence or on receipt of an abnormally high water account), or if unoccupied for more than 60 consecutive days. Please note though that leaking taps, geysers, toilet systems and swimming pools are usually excluded, and, as the insurer, you will not be liable for more than two separate incidents within a period of 12 months.

Another nightmare that can rear its head during the holiday season is the loss of personal luggage while travelling. Luckily, cover is typically provided for this risk and covers any bag or luggage away from home that is not in the insured’s possession. A reimbursement for toiletries or clothing while waiting for the luggage to be located is also available, up to the scheduled limit. This does not include cover for jewellery and watches though, unless the items are specifically insured under the policy, or carried on the claimant’s person, or the items are kept in a locked safe that is fixed to a building.

There are also easy steps your clients can take to let themselves rest easy. Advise them to add additional fire- or money cover over the seasonal period. Other risk management steps include:

  • telling neighbours and security company when the insured property will be empty;
  • closing water mains and checking system before leaving;
  • tagging luggage properly;
  • never leaving valuable items in a car or otherwise unattended;
  • keeping local emergency services contact numbers close at hand; and
  • making a note of the emergency contact numbers at the vacation destination.

Every great vacation requires some prep work – and this includes ensuring that personal lines insurance is up to date. Why not share this information with your clients and give you both the gift of peace of mind this festive season?