Staying at home or not travelling as much as you used to, does not mean that you won’t be a victim of crime.
According to an annual report released by Stats SA, at the end of March this year 469 224 property-related crimes were reported, while 18 162 carjacking cases and 59 883 shoplifting cases were reported. As the festive season is upon us, domestic travel will increase, as well as the footfall in shopping centers.
Lize Badenhorst, General Manager: Short Term Insurance at Iemas Insurance Brokers, gives a few clever tips on how to stay safe this festive season:
- First things first: Make sure that your car and home insurance policy is up to date. Many insurance companies offered cover pause options during the national lock-down. However you need to be comprehensively covered should anything happen to your vehicle, personal belongings or home contents.
- Make sure that your security systems are working: These include your home alarm, electric fencing, cameras and beams (if you have any of these security devices). It is always a good idea to get a timer for your lights so that it seems like someone is at home.
- Movement is always good: Ask someone you trust to either stay in your house while you are away, or to visit your house every now and then to make sure that everything is A-OK.
- Travel safe: Check your car tires, windscreen (make sure there are no cracks) and even do a full safety check at your nearest garage or dealership, before you hit the road. Also make sure that, if you are the driver, you take regular breaks, stay hydrated and eat regularly.
- Lock-up even when you are not going anywhere: Staying at home during the festive season does not prevent the Gremlins from paying you a visit. Make sure that your gates are closed and locked, even during the day-time. Activate your alarm at night even when you are at home.
- Take stock of your situation: Perhaps you did not really have the time or money this year to secure your home, such as installing security gates, an alarm and electric fencing. Now that you are at home, make a checklist and see where you can fit the bill to make your home more safe and secure.
Shop Till You Drop Tips
- Don’t forget to lock up: Make sure you locked the house before you hit the shops and make sure you locked your car. Don’t just press the ‘lock’ button, physically try and open your car via the door handle to make sure that your car is locked.
- Never leave anything lying around: Take your phone, handbag and any other personal belongings with you. Don’t leave anything lying around, especially not on the co-driver’s seat.
- Keep your money close: Make sure that your wallet and phone is either in your pocket or in your handbag and that it is not easily accessible. Keep a safe distance from others, not just for health reasons, but also for security reasons. Never put your valuables in your trolley – they will disappear before you know it.
- Cash is not always King: Drawing and using cash is not always the safest option. Rather use a payment app or card to pay for gifts and groceries. You can also use your rewards payouts that are paid into your account or loaded onto your card. This year Iemas paid out a total of 5 million to its members – a nice extra to help pay for essentials or holiday spoils.
Prevention is always better than cure
“Accidents, damage, theft and loss happen – it is part of life. But losing money due to these unforeseen events does not have to be your reality” says Badenhorst. Having comprehensive insurance, will protect you against financial loss and will also make your life easier when dealing with claims and pay-outs. “This year has been marked with many ups and downs, however we have been able to weather the storm with the loyal support of our members and we are looking forward to securing their future, family and belongings in the years to come” concludes Badenhorst.