As families across Australia pack their bags and head off on their holiday adventures, Westpac is reminding people to make sure their home stays safe and secure over the holiday period.
“We often see a spike in claims after each school holiday period,” says Martin Kelly, head of general insurance Westpac.
“While you’re busy planning your vacation, thieves are busy planning how they can take advantage of an empty home over the holidays. Other hazards such as water leaks, fire and storms may also cause more damage if you are not around to address them quickly.
“The best way you can safeguard your precious possessions is to make sure that you have the right insurance in place, to cover you if something happens. There are also steps you can take to help reduce the risk of these unfortunate events occurring.”
“Reviewing insurance policies can seem like a tedious task but if you are unfortunate enough to be the target of a theft it can make an enormous financial and emotional impact if your home and valuables are insured properly,” Mr Kelly added.
Five steps to securing your home over the holidays
- Make sure you assess the total value of your home and contents accurately
The best way to assess contents value is to think of the worst case scenario where you have to replace everything in your home. Items like linen, white goods, clothing, tools and valuables. It really adds up.
- Check your precious valuables are fully covered
Most insurance policies have a limits on the amount they will pay for claims on individual items, normally around $500-$1,000. If you have jewellery or other possessions that would cost more than that to replace then it might be worth taking out additional cover, which allows you to insure these items for their true value, so that you don’t miss out if they go missing or are damaged. Proudly supporting Australia
- Check if your valuables are covered while on vacation
If you lucky enough to be travelling overseas and taking any of your valuables like mobile phones or jewellery with you – you may be covered for a limited period for loss or damage overseas. Not all insurers offer this cover so check with your insurer as the loss of a treasured engagement ring or brand new mobile phone can really spoil a holiday.
- Let your insurer know you will be away
If you are leaving your home unattended over the holidays check with your insurer if you need to notify them the length of time that you will be away.
- Make your house looked lived in
Nothing sends a signal to thieves faster than a house that appears empty. Ensure you organise someone to collect and store your mail, use sensor lights or timers, ask a neighbour to collect mail and put bins out, and suspend any regular deliveries like newspapers.
For further tips and hints about your insurance, visit Westpac Home & Contents page or contact Lisa Chikarovski, Media relations manager on 0466 388 561.
Media release (PDF 230KB)