It’s hard to believe that in just a couple of months, thousands of Batswana will be heading for their home villages and a well-deserved rest from work. But before you head off for the holidays, there are some important checks and balances to put in place to make sure your home and assets are properly protected while you are away.
"Take the time to protect yourself and your family against criminal elements that always kick up their activities during the holidays. Making sure that your home is safe and secure when you get back from the holidays will require some planning, so make use of this handy check list to make sure you have checked all the boxes," says Aobakwe Gofamodimo of Aon Botswana insurance brokers and risk consultants.
Before you head for the holidays:
1. Leave a spare set of keys, as well as a contact address and phone number, with a trusted neighbour in case of an emergency, such as a fire, a burglary or re-setting your alarm.
2. Keep your incident management card handy in case of household emergencies.
3. Test the response of your security company to your alarm and notify them or your neighbourhood watch that you are going away.
4. Place any weapons, valuables and important documents in a safe or a bank safety deposit box.
5. Lock the mains box outside your property.
6. Check that your insurance details and premiums are up to date.
7. Create a household asset register with photographs and valuation certificates.
8. Pay your lights and water bill – you don’t need a power or water cut while you are away.
9. Make sure your All Risks cover includes valuables you are taking on holiday. Take your medical aid details or card with you.
10. Place sufficient funds in your bank account to pay for any emergencies.
11. Disconnect computers, TV’s and other lightning sensitive equipment including TV aerials.
12. Immobilise any vehicles you leave behind.
13. Arrange for insurance cover before you leave a shop with an expensive purchase.
14. Remember to safely dispose of boxes from your purchases and don’t advertise your new assets to criminal elements by leaving the packaging on your pavement for disposal.
15. Check that any trailers and cars you use on holiday are roadworthy, properly licenced and that insurance premiums are up to date.
16. Make sure your tracker or similar device is working. If you had your car serviced recently the device may have been disabled, so make sure it’s in working order to avoid any problems with your insurance cover later.
17. Pay any outstanding traffic fines to avoid problems with the traffic police.
18. You should already have automatic light switch mechanisms, alarm sensors on easily accessible windows, expanding security gates in doorways, a secure gate motor, movement sensor lights near doors, barred windows and house numbers that are clearly visible from the street - and roof for that matter.
19. Ensure your licence is still valid and that it’s valid outside Botswana if you are crossing the border.
"It’s vital to annually review your policy to make sure the values and conditions are up to date and that the statements you have made to the insurers are still correct. The advice and guidance of an independent professional broker is invaluable in doing a thorough needs analysis to make sure your policy provisions meet all your needs as they evolve.
The beginning of the year is the perfect time to assess your policy and make sure you have the right insurance cover in place, at the right price, coupled with professional advice to make sure your hard earned assets are covered no matter what life throws at you," concludes Aobakwe.