With 2016 almost at a close and Christmas just around the corner, the holiday season is nearly here! To help keep your home safe and secure while sunning yourself on holiday, careful preparation is key.
We’ve prepared some useful tips so you can enjoy a drama free break!
Turn the taps off to your washing machine, dishwasher and/or fridge. If a washer or hose breaks while you’re away and a tap is still on, you could end up with a flooded home!
2. Electrical appliances
Unplug any non-essential electrical items. Aside from using power while dormant, they’ll be protected from damage in the event of a power surge.
While timer switches are still a standard security measure, smartphone apps that connect to Wi-Fi lightbulbs are becoming more common and affordable. Both options allow you to program your lights to switch on at certain times, giving the appearance that someone is home.
2. Video monitoring
Consider purchasing a modern CCTV system – newer models allow you to connect and live-stream footage from your property to your mobile device, enabling you to check all is well.
Invest in an IP monitored alarm system from an accredited provider – an IP alarm will not only alert your security provider, but can also send notifications to your mobile device if something is amiss.
Consider leaving your curtains the way they are. This can help give the impression you’re home, just remember to keep expensive items, such as jewellery, out of sight.
Test all of your door and window locks before you leave to make sure they’re effective and in working order. Don’t forget to arm them all when you leave.
1. Rubbish bins
If you’ve put your bins out before going on holidays, make sure you can arrange for a friend or neighbour to bring them back in so it’s not obvious you’re away.
If you’re going to be away for a while, see if your neighbour can mow your lawn. Alternatively, pay a gardener in advance for to look after your property to help give the impression you’re home.
Put your mail on hold through Australia Post and suspend delivery of newspapers. You could also ask a neighbour to pick up / hold your mail while you’re away.
Hide your spare key. If a thief believes you’re away, they’ll be checking all the usual places for a spare key to gain entry. Give your spare key to a friend or trusted neighbour – it can also serve as the perfect backup if your keys are misplaced on holiday. Alternatively, you could keep them in a wall mounted key safe outside your home.
1. Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance provides you with financial protection and peace of mind should anything go wrong while you’re away e.g. cancelled flights, lost luggage, medical emergencies. Click here for a Travel Insurance quote.
2. Contact information
Make sure you can be contacted while away. If something happens to your home, you’d hate to find out a few days afterwards. Provide a friend, family member or neighbour your itinerary just in case you need to be urgently contacted while away.
3. Financial Institutions
If you’re travelling overseas, notify your bank(s). International transactions can appear suspicious in this day and age. It could prompt your financial institution to assume your card has been stolen and unnecessarily cancel it.
1. Household Insurance
Make sure your insurance policies are paid for and up to date! This is essential if you need to lodge a claim and expect it to be paid!
2. Unoccupancy period
Check your policy wording and conditions for the acceptable unoccupancy period as stated by your insurer. If you are unsure about your coverage, contact Whitbread or your holding insurer.
3. Social media
Beware of your social media footprint – making a public post regarding a holiday can be a useful information to the wrong person. Ensure your privacy settings on Facebook, Instagram and similar are set to private, with information being shared to your friends only, not the public.
4. Christmas recycling
Stagger the disposal of boxes and wrappings from Christmas presents. Nothing says ‘I have a big new expensive item’ than a box left in plain view near the bins. Dismantle cardboard boxes and mix them in with recyclables over a 3-4 week period.
If you are affected by any unforeseen events over the break and need to lodge a claim, we are open throughout the Christmas holiday period, aside from designated public holidays. For after hours emergency claims assistance please click here to find out more information on what to do and who to contact.
From all the team at Whitbread, we wish you a safe holiday period and a prosperous 2017!
This insight article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of personal advice. Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd ABN 69 005 490 228 Licence Number: 229092 trading as Whitbread Insurance Brokers for further information or refer to our website.