Insurance Updates: ensure peace of mind before you take that holiday

Sometimes holidays seem awfully far away – and then, in a second, they’re upon you leaving you hardly any time to really plan properly or make sure things are tidily settled before you leave home. But before you load that car or take that flight, there are some year-end essentials to proactively manage for continuity of  insurance coverage and security. There’s no price on peace of mind, so here are a few ‘to do’s’ that will simply make your life easier.

Update your insurance policy

Just like visiting the dentist every year, you should also review your short-term insurance annually to ensure that you are fully covered and informed of any new amendments that may have come into play. Communication between you and your financial advisor or broker (such as BellRyck) should always be frequent to ensure you remain aware of the status of your policies, current benefits, and if your policies are still working properly for you.

There is no better time to make this check than before embarking on a trip. Make sure your insurance for your house and household contents are up to date before you leave. Apart from robberies, there can be a host of other incidents that can cause damage such as storms, electrical faults and plumbing issues. None of these may be anticipated while you’re away but you should always plan for the unforeseen.

Points that you need to include in your review:

  • If you have installed a security system in your home, call your broker as you might get a reduction in premiums.
  • Any home improvements will have increased the value of your home, so you should increase your insurance coverage.
  • Make a record of all your insured assets for an easier claim process. Better still, keep the receipts of big-ticket purchases. Don’t leave out assets when applying for household insurance; it will negatively affect a claim.
  • If you plan any improvements before leaving, notify your broker of the increased risks involved with building contractors on your premises.

Upgrade medical assurance

Nobody wants to equate a holiday with a disaster – but unfortunately they can happen.

  • See that your medical insurance is updated to cover you in the areas where you plan to travel.
  • Make sure your information on your policy is correct and check the benefits offered if you are in an accident or hospitalised in another country.
  • Phone your medical assurance company/broker ahead of time and make sure you have the rules and regulations under your belt, and that your premium is correctly notched to cover you for the unexpected and foreign costs.
  • Make sure you know how to contact the right people in case of an emergency.

Vehicle safety checks

This seems obvious but there’s often something you may forget:

  • Top of the list would be to ensure your car insurance policy is current.
  • Most importantly check tyre tread – must be more than 1mm depth. Also check the spare wheel – both for pressure and tread.
  • Top up the windscreen washer bottle – nothing worse than driving without clarity.
  • Check your radiator and engine oil, as well as the fan belt.
  • Clear out the boot so that you don’t cart mouldering oddments along with you. And make sure you have a jack and tools for a wheel change – as well as emergency markers to put up if you are stuck on the side of the road.
  • Go through all your lights – indicator, brake, dip, full beam, fog and so on – one by one. Either get a friend to watch for blown bulbs, or park by a white wall or shop window one night to see them for yourself.

Home safety checks

This has to be a key area of attention when leaving on holiday. Simple things like ensuring doors and windows are properly closed and locked can actually be forgotten in the hurry and scurry to get away. Returning home after a memorable holiday and finding disaster has struck while you were away, can be devastating. Here are some tips to remember:

  • Don’t close all the curtains. Nothing advertises an empty house more than permanently closed curtains.
  • Have timer lights come on – perhaps in a passage or the kitchen to give the impression that someone is there.
  • Stop mail delivery or get a neighbour or friend to regularly clear the postbox.
  • Make sure all electrical plugs are out and wall sockets switched off.
  • Leave a set of spare keys with a neighbour or friend to check on the house every few days.
  • Make sure there are no leaking taps.
  • Check all windows and locks before leaving, including garage, storerooms, garden sheds, etc.
  • Don’t post on social media that you are going away, and remember to arm your alarm system.
  • It is also a good idea to test your alarm system functionality with your chosen service provider (e.g. ADT, Chubb, etc.) before you leave.

Lifetime financial solutions

The BellRyck Financial Group boasts a proud history spanning three decades. We offer short-term insurance, as well as long-term financial investment products and advisory services through our specialist network of service providers.

Our commitment to fostering lasting relationships built on trust and personal service, has allowed us to create valuable partnerships with both individuals and businesses. Prescribing to the highest standards of ethics and integrity, we have developed the acumen and flexibility to successfully evolve with the changing financial needs of our clients.

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