Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  20 Dec 2010

INSURANCE: Insuring a Safe Holiday


Recent Gauteng Business News

The touble with holidays is that you let your guard down; you relax; and you take it so easy that sometimes you open yourself, and your family, to dangers that you would be well guarded against at home.

To help you have a happy, safe holiday, short-term insurance leader, Santam, offers a number of holiday safety tips for you and your family.


Safekeeping It’s best not to take valuables to the beach with you. Leave expensive jewellery; loads of cash and pricey cameras back in the BnB. If you do take anything valuable to the beach, make sure someone reliable will keep it in safe custody whilst you go off to gambol in the waves or to find an ice-cream seller.

Lock-down Find out if your hotel, B 'n B or guest house offers safe storage facilities, and use them to keep valuables safe. Don’t leave valuables lying around where people can see them. It’s best to use a debit (rather than credit) card for purchases and meals out. Keep a modest balance in your account to curtail losses should your card fall into criminal hands.

All covered Make sure your car is in top running order before setting off. If you’re hiring a car at the coast, take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with the spare wheel, the controls and the basic insurance that comes as part of the car hire deal.

Shine on Never underestimate the sun. Try to stay out of direct sunlight between 10am and 2pm and make sure everyone liberally applies sunscreen at least after breakfast and again after lunch. Make sure to reapply sunscreen after swimming or showering… even if the bottle says it’s waterproof. Buy the highest SPF factor sunscreen you can. Consider SPF 32 sunscreen the lowest factor and go up from there.

Child’s play Children easily get lost on crowded beaches. Never let them out of your sight. Supervise them carefully in the water and make sure they are well protected against the sun. A big beach umbrella is mandatory for toddlers and babies.

Swimming Only bathe on beaches that have lifeguards in attendance. Never go swimming in unguarded waters, and always stay in the designated bathing area… usually between the flags erected on the beach by the lifeguards. Never go into the water before dawn or after dusk.

Watery Guard against dehydration on the beach and remember that carbonated beverages and fruit juices don’t hydrate your body as well as water does. Tuck a couple of bottles of water into the beach bag to quench your thirst and to make sure you stay well hydrated on the beach.

Feet first Wear a pair of waterproof sandals when taking a shower in beachfront, public showers. The floors of these facilities are breeding grounds for athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. Beach sand can get very, very hot. Wear your sandals to protect your feet against burning, stinging sand, too.


Creature comforts Never, no matter how cute it is, approach a wild animal. And don’t get out of your car in a game reserve… even if it’s been hours since you saw the lions. Many dangerous animals (such as snakes, spiders and scorpions) play dead. Don’t pick up or touch a dead animal. Animal bones harbour dangerous organisms that can make you and your family very sick. Leave them alone.

Buzz off The best defence against Malaria is not to get bitten. Wear long sleeves and trousers in the evenings. Apply mosquito repellent liberally and use the mosquito nets in accommodation facilities that offer them. When buying mozzie repellent, look for one that lists DEET as a major ingredient. Mosquitoes are attracted to bright colours… especially yellow, orange and green. Muted shades of grey, brown and khaki will help keep them away. Go see your doctor if you experience flu-like symptoms within 10 days of returning home, as this could be the first sign of Malaria.

Bundu bashing Don’t, unless you’re a very experienced hiker, stray from recommended paths and routes whilst hiking. If you get lost, stay where you are so that someone can come out and find you. Make sure to pack some high energy foods (snack bars) and a couple of bottles of water in your rucksack and keep these for emergencies only.


Alarming Make sure the alarm is working properly and that you have checked your back-up battery. Make sure anyone who has access to your premises knows how to use the alarm and has a comprehensive list of emergency contact numbers.

Parking off Park the vehicle fleet in a secure place…under lock and key and preferably under security guard protection, too.

Sparking Do a quick check of electrical equipment to make sure there are no potential fire-causing bad connections. Unplug non-essential equipment as far as possible.

Packed up Pack all valuable goods away in a storeroom where curious passersby cannot see them.

People power Do not only rely on the CCTV system. Hire a security company, too, to keep an eye on your business whilst it’s locked up for the holidays or ask your alarm response company to do a drive by more often. Make sure there are at least two people back home that you can contact in case of emergency… and who can contact you easily and quickly, too.

Paperwork Go over your insurance policies or contact your broker to verify the terms of your policy to make sure everything’s up to date and that you’re not under-insured and that you comply with all the conditions of your insurance policy. It is also important to make sure you have enough funds available for your insurance premiums.


Strictly confidential Don’t tell the world (on Facebook or Twitter) when you’re going away and how long you’ll be gone for. It’s not only your friends who may be interested in this information.

Copy that Leave a spare set of house keys with someone you trust. Don’t leave the spare keys outside under a flowerpot or in the post box. Also give this person copies of your flight tickets, passports, contact numbers, itinerary, travel insurance documents, travellers cheques and ID books.

House Unplugged except for the fridge and freezer, unplug all electrical appliances to prevent the possibility of a fire. Turning your geyser off will save you money on the electricity bill.

Hot water Talking of the geyser, if it’s older than three years, get a plumber to check it out for you. If it floods while you’re away, it could incur thousands of rands of damage.

Keeping time Consider installing a timer if you can’t find someone to come in and switch your lights off in the mornings and on in the evenings. This will give people the impression of someone being home.

Take cover Review the terms of your household insurance to make sure you are fully covered in the event of a burglary or an accident that may cause damage.

Mr Postman Contact your post office to arrange for your mail to be held while you are on holiday or arrange with family or friends to pick up your mail and newspapers.

Sense and sensibility Practice common sense while on holiday. Don’t carry large sums of cash on you; safely secure valuables such as cameras and laptop computers when you’re not using them; don’t be cavalier with money and jewellery and be sensible when using ATMs in unfamiliar places. It’s also a good idea to find out where the closest police station is when you check into your holiday accommodation.

Holidaymakers in Plettenberg Bay and Cape Town this festive season should look out on the most popular beaches for yellow Santam umbrellas that will be given away to sun worshippers to help protect them from the sun. Camps Bay and Plett beaches will sport thousands of bright yellow Santam umbrellas over the festive season. Grab yours when you see Santam representatives on one of these beaches.


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