Underinsurance levels high in bushfire prone areas
In an article published by Insurance & Risk it was reported that over 1.5million blocks of land in Australia are currently situated in ‘bushfire prone areas’ (BPAs)*.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
From July 1, 2017, some residential Strata Insurance policies will experience significant total premium changes as a result of amendments to the Terrorism Insurance Act 2003 (Cth). The changes apply Australia wide, and relate to the introduction of a Terrorism Levy.
As the bushfire season approaches this statistic really underlines how imperative it is to have the right insurance cover and sums insured for your home and contents. The right cover will help to ensure you are in a position to finance the full cost of reinstating your home in the event...
Note: Some information in this article has been generously provided by Whitbread partner, and leading Australian IT specialists, Surety[IT].