5 December 2016

Safety Tips for the Festive Season

My Money Matters |

December is fast approaching and for most that means taking some time to relax before we round-off 2016. Whether you’re going away or staying at home, the festive season also provides the unfortunate increase in crime and accidents.

It’s a part of the holiday period we’d rather not think about, but we really should.  We spoke to the Head of Claims at Absa idirect Limited, Wayne Putter, to get some tips on how to look after two of our most valuable possessions – our homes and cars. We also look at just how important a tool like insurance can be if the worst should happen.

  1. Wayne, what would your top tip be for both home and vehicles owners over the December period?

Make sure that your vehicle is operating properly. That means checking the oil, lights and even the tyre pressure. You can take it to a garage or car dealership for assistance. Most of them will do a free 40-point check during the holiday period, so call ahead and see who can help you out.



Another important thing to check and confirm to be in order, is the tyre thread. Not only could this result in an accident when driving in slippery conditions, but the claim could also be disqualified as there is an onus on the client to maintain their vehicles properly and to ensure that it is roadworthy at all times.


  1. So, we have looked at the more expected incidents like crime and accidents, but what are some of the other risks to our homes and cars that we don’t often think about?

Theft is one thing but there are other major risks like fires, floods and storms that you need to protect your valuables against. You just have to think about how much it would cost to replace every single item in your home right at this moment.  

When you have a look at the impact of the intense weather experienced lately, most of the claims are related to motor vehicles. When the hail season arrives, we receive anything between 2000 – 3000 vehicle claims, which is more than double the amount that we usually deal with at any given point in time.

  1. Any extra advice for people who are insured, or are looking to be insured but are struggling to afford the premiums?

If people are really struggling financially, the best advice would be to firstly review their policies and ensure that the insured value (as an example) of their vehicle is correct. If a vehicle is no longer financed the insurance cover may be changes to a less expensive cover, like Third Party cover. This means that your vehicle is not insured, but a third party claim of another vehicle that you may have damaged will be covered. You can then just insure your own vehicle against fire and theft, but these are only good options if you really have no other choice. The best situation would be to be covered fully throughout the year. It is important to note that all financed vehicles must be comprehensively insured for the duration of the finance agreement.

When it comes to your home, keep in touch with your insurer and ensure that the policy is reviewed at least annually. Let them know of any advances and/or changes you have made in terms of security, i.e. addition of burglar bars, an alarm system, or any other security features. This could have an impact on the overall premium and result in a discount.

Policies are automatically renewed annually and most people do not realize that the value of vehicles may reduce. It is important to ensure that the adjustment is affected timeously. The addition of new home contents items over a 12 month period can also have an impact on the insured value. This can have a negative impact and result in you being underinsured should a claim arise. Update your inventory annually to prevent average being applied to your claim.

There you have it – there are a bunch of things that we can do to ensure that our valuables are protected in 2017. On behalf of everyone here at Absa, we wish you a safe and memorable festive season.

Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.

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