How to make sure your festive cheer doesn’t turn into tears
After a long year, South Africans are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their well-deserved summer holidays. Families are looking forward to spending quality time together - grandparents are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their grandchildren, who in turn are excitedly dreaming of being spoiled by grandma and grandpa.
Apart from facing the frantic shopping mall stampede to look for last minute gifts or treats, we also use this time to de-stress from the strains of the past year. Even though we want to switch off and relax, the holiday season is exactly the time when we should be alert regarding the safety of our family and possessions, because unfortunately, criminals don’t take holidays!
Holiday season felonies
Incidents of house burglaries spike over December – starting in October, and only dropping off by January.
Lizette Lancaster, Manager of the Crime and Justice Information Hub at the Institute for Security Studies, says that many of these crimes are opportunistic. “House robberies are more likely to occur over the summer holidays when people tend to let their guard down and spend more time outside with their doors open.”
Defense against unwelcome visitors
If you’re going away this December, please follow these IntegriSure tips to ensure a hassle-free holiday:
- Inform your neighbours that you will be away on vacation and provide them with all your necessary contact details, so that they can reach you in the event of an emergency.
- Hiring a trustworthy house sitter is always a good precaution, but make sure that they know everything that they need to know e.g. how to activate and use your alarm correctly.
- If you are not making use of a house sitter, lock and secure your home’s doors, windows, and security gates before you leave.
- Test the alarm and its back-up battery well in advance before you leave on holiday. If it is broken, it gives you enough time to have it fixed.
- If you want to take an extra precaution with sliding doors, secure it with a piece of timber (cut to the size of the sliding rail) after locking it.
- If possible, install exterior lighting that switches on and off with a timer.
- Cancel your newspaper subscription for the period that you will be away. Ask your neighbours or your house sitter to collect and keep any post that you receive during this time.
- Store all your keys and remote controls in a safe place.
- Ensure that all cars that stay behind are not visible from the street, and if possible, are parked in a garage.
The ins and outs of all-risk cover
Apart from the increased risk of break-ins, vacationers are also spending more time outdoors – and so are their possessions. Whether you’re strolling on the beach, scouting the bushveld, or exploring the specials at the shopping mall, it increases the risk of damage to your personal possessions, as well as the chances of theft.
Fortunately, IntegriSure can offer you peace-of-mind this festive season with its all-risk insurance options.
If you want to insure personal possessions that are used regularly outside of your home, you need specified all-risk insurance. Under this category, you can also add items such as cameras, jewellery, GPS-devices, sunglasses, and camping equipment. This also applies to cellphones, tablets, and laptops.
For items that change on a daily basis, such as the contents of your handbag or suitcase, unspecified all-risk insurance is the best option.
If you want to discuss IntegriSure’s all-risk insurance options, or update your current cover, please feel free to call one of our relationship managers on 0860 055 055, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer a relationship manager to contact you, please SMS the words “All risk” to 41288.
Road trips without the risk
When we think of holiday road trips, we look forward to waking up early, loading suitcases in the car, and spotting the ocean for the first time. Although travelling to your holiday destination can be fun, motorists shouldn’t underestimate the dangers of driving long distances.
According to Eye Witness News, at the beginning of the year more than 1 000 people died on South African roads during 2014’s festive season. Taking the right precautions is therefore very important - it can significantly decrease the risk of being involved in an accident during the holiday season.
- Use familiar routes and main highways to reach your destination. When you need to take a break from driving or fill up the tank, stop at busy rest stops.
- If possible, establish the general condition of the road you will be travelling on beforehand by talking to friends or family who have travelled the road recently.
- Motorists should ensure that their vehicle is roadworthy before travelling. The vehicle’s lights, indicators, windscreen wipers, brakes, steering, exhaust systems, and tyres should be examined by a qualified professional.
- Ensure that your spare tyre is in a good condition, and that you have all the necessary tools required to replace a tyre.
- If your vehicle is equipped with a tracking device, test it before travelling.
- If you are driving at night, or if it rains while you are on the road, increase the following distance between you and the car in front of you to six seconds.
- Always ensure that you and your passengers are wearing seatbelts.
- Stop frequently to rest to avoid driver fatigue and eye strain. If more than one person with a valid driver’s license is travelling in the vehicle, take turns to drive frequently.
- Do not give hitchhikers a lift.
- Drive with your headlights on during the day and night – this makes your vehicle much more visible.
- If you find yourself in the unfortunate event of a hijacking, do not resist. Your life is worth more than your vehicle.
The hidden dangers of hosting
If you’ve decided to avoid the busy roads and crowded beaches by spending the holiday in the comforts of your own home, you will probably be hosting family and friends.
Believe it or not, the festive season has its hidden hazards. By following IntegriSure’s simple checklist, you can prevent your celebration from turning into a disaster.
Do’s and don’ts
- If you are celebrating the holidays with a festive tree, inspect all the electrical lights, decorations, and extension cords for damage before decorating it.
- Keep breakable ornaments and other small decorations out of reach from curious grandchildren.
- Keep candles at a safe distance from anything that can burn, such as the tree, gifts, and decorations. Also make sure that you blow out any candles before leaving a room.
- Keep children away from cooking areas, and make sure that pot handles are out of reach from little hands.
We’re here to assist
IntegriSure values the safety of you and your family. As our valued client, you have access to our emergency service 24 hours a day. We strongly recommend you save the IntegriAssist number - 0800 002 777 - on your phone for quick access, or download the IntegriSure app from your App store, which also gives you access to our emergency services.
Should you have any enquiries about IntegriAssist, please call one of our relationship managers on 0860 055 055, or e-mail us at email@example.com.