You may already be in holiday mode, but don't let that mindset leave you unprepared for the festive season ahead. As many people enjoy this time, others might experience the unfortunate spike of accidents and crime that happens in December. It's important to make sure that you follow some checks and precautions before setting out on your holiday.
Check that your insurance cover is adequate, so your holiday won't get ruined by events that may occur at home, on the road or at your destination. These four insurance categories should be checked before you set out on your holiday:
Household and home insurance - ensure these policies are in place. Take note of which fittings are covered (e.g. geysers, pool pumps, etc.) and list key items. Taking photos of the items on site and writing down serial numbers will help to make the process easier when claiming, if a break-in occurs. House-sitters may be a good idea in keeping you contents safe, but make sure they understand who to contact if an emergency occurs.
Travel insurance - make sure you're adequately covered against cancellations so that your trip isn't cut short. Speak to your medical aid about cover if you plan to travel abroad, buy additional health insurance if necessary. Keep the numbers of credit cards, debit cards and traveller's cheques in a safe place so they can be replaced if lost or stolen. In the event of this happening, arrange insurance ahead of time for services that you'd need to ensure you're provided with accommodation, car hire and additional support.
Vehicle insurance – are you covered for emergency breakdowns, accommodation expense, roadside assistance and car hire? It would be good to check and then upgrade your cover if necessary. If you intend on crossing a border into a neighbouring country, make sure you have the following:
A letter from your insurance company stating the vehicle is covered for cross-border travel.
If your car hasn't been paid off, a letter of authorisation from the financing bank stating the car may be driven across the border as it remains of the bank until it's paid off.
Coverage for personal possessions – Provide your insurer with a detailed list of personal items that you intend to take with you, including serial numbers, so that they can be insured properly. Sporting equipment that is taken on holiday should also be insured.
Whilst making all these checks, it's important to keep in mind that there are several reasons why claims are rejected. Some of the most common reasons for having a claim rejected are: a vehicle not being roadworthy; the vehicle was overloaded, compromising functions like braking and steering; driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if the policyholder acted negligently or in a criminal manner. Therefore, being responsible is the best way to prevent having to pay for damage or legal costs arising from an accident or incident.
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