If you’re heading away for a few days to make the most of long-weekends or school holidays this year, there are some simple things you can do to ensure there are no nasty surprises on your return.
To help prevent the need to make an insurance claim:
- Consider turning the water off to dishwashers, washing machines and some fridges to prevent a flood from going undetected while you’re away.
- Put valuable items away or out of sight, check your policy as it may specify a need to put high value items in a safe if you’re not at home.
- Make a detailed list of possessions, including serial/model numbers and photos. Keep this with a copy of your policy somewhere separate to your possessions.
- Mark ‘big ticket’ items with a code or name to prove ownership. If these marks are hard to remove, they may also deter thieves.
- Let your insurance company know if you are going to be away from your house for a long period, have friends staying in your home while you’re away or are planning to list your home with services such as Airbnb or Bookabach as this may change the type of insurance policy you need.
- Check your house and contents policies are up-to-date and not due to run out over the holiday period. Your contents insurance also provides liability cover that will help you if you damage someone else’s belongings while you’re away.
- If you’re heading away camping, check with your insurer to make sure your contents will be covered when you take them to the campsite.
- And, if you have a campervan either take out campervan contents insurance or check if your existing home and contents policies provide cover for your campervan contents.
Burglary prevention tips:
- Make sure your home always looks lived in, even if it is for just a few nights – ask neighbours you trust to water your plants and clear your mailbox and set your lights or TV to go on and off in the evening on timers.
- Never publicise that you’re going away on holiday – that includes on your social media, email out of office messages or on your answer phone.
- Have an alarm installed – many insurers offer premium discounts for properties that have alarms.
- Install automatic security lighting. Lights that come on when they sense movement are a good choice for external areas. Don’t place sensors for lights low enough that they can easily be tampered with.
- Lock garages and sheds, put away wheelie bins and trim plants and trees near doors and windows. This removes tools burglars can use to break in and places they can hide.
- Close and lock all doors and windows when you’re out and while you’re asleep. If you must leave windows open, make sure they’re on tamper-proof security locks.
- Install security cameras or webcams in easy-to-spot locations. You can connect most cameras to your phone wirelessly so you can see what’s happening at your house wherever you are.
- Register your valuable possessions on www.snap.org.nz, the NZ Police’s free, online asset list. If you are burgled this can make it easier for the Police to track your belongings down. It’ll also help when you make a contents insurance claim.