Aon's top tips for a safe and happy holiday season

With the gloom of winter now behind us, the best is yet to come – long hot summer days and the holiday season, or as we sometimes call it – the silly season. Whether you are having a staycation or planning on packing up the car and hitting the road, there are a few things to consider so that you, your family, and your possessions remain safe and protected.

General home security year-round

  • Do not hide keys outside your home, leave them in an obvious place near doors or windows; or keep them in your car. Give your spare key to a friend, a relative or a trusted neighbour.

  • When you buy new electronic items, turn the empty boxes inside out and fold them down before recycling them, so that it’s not obvious that you have new appliances.

  • Hide or lock away passports and official documents – identity fraud is on the rise.

  • Don’t leave your car keys near doors or windows as car theft through burglary is on the rise.

  • Consider engraving or marking your belongings – this makes them harder to re-sell.

  • List your valuable possessions (take photographs and record the make, model and serial numbers where relevant). Many stolen items are recovered by the Police but cannot be identified by their owners.

  • Deadlocks make it harder for burglars to get out with your goods if they get in through a window. Don’t forget to put a deadlock on the internal access door between the garage and the house.

  • Window locks deter burglars because smashing glass attracts attention and can leave forensic evidence.

  • Security lighting, visible burglar alarms and security cameras are all great deterrents to burglars.

  • Timers on radios and lights make it seem like someone is home.

  • Add a spy hole and a chain on your door so that you can see who is there before you open the door.

  • Always lock doors and windows you can’t see, even if you are at home in the backyard BBQing. 

Holiday Security

When leaving your home to go away on holiday or anytime you've finished staying at your holiday home, be sure you run through our checklist of things to remember.

  • Cancel the newspaper and any other regular deliveries.

  • Don’t advertise your holiday plans online – burglars have the internet too!

  • Do not leave a message on your answer phone that you away – clear any messages yourself or arrange to have a friend check them regularly.

  • Keep Christmas presents hidden from the view of children and burglars.

  • Have a neighbour keep an eye on your home, clear your letterbox, open and close curtains, park their car in your drive and hang washing on the clothesline. If you’re going to be away longer than two weeks, ask them to mow your front lawn. Add this neighbour to your Christmas present list.

  • Consider inviting a friend or relative to house-sit for you.

  • Make arrangements for family pets to be looked after.

  • Lock away garden tools, ladders and anything else that could help a burglar break in.

  • Make sure all doors and windows are securely locked and security systems activated. Don’t forget the garage.​

  • Notify your broker or insurer if your home or holiday home will be vacant for more than 60 days at a time.

Make sure that you do as much as you can from the above lists to maintain your insurance cover.

Here are some other tips and tricks you might want to remember.

Avoid water damage

Even a very small leak can cause a lot of damage to a house over time if you don’t notice it, and your cover is usually limited if the damage is gradual. One of the best ways to protect your house and contents is to turn the water off when it’s not occupied. If you do, remember to turn off the hot water cylinder to avoid burning it out.

Protecting what you take on holiday with you

What you take on holiday with you may just be simple items like clothes. Or you may be taking more valuable items such as camping, fishing and diving gear, sporting equipment or your TV and Sky box so you don’t miss the rugby.

Take a look at your policy to see if your items are covered while they’re in transit, and whether they’re still covered when you’re at your holiday home.

Protecting your stuff

Sometimes the family bach/crib will just be full of old furniture and mismatched plates, but it’s a good idea to assess the contents in your holiday home and figure out what it would really cost to replace them. Don’t forget items like fishing and diving gear or sporting equipment – they might add up to more than you think.

Take care on the roads

There are plenty of small things you can do to take care of yourself, your family and others on the roads this holiday season.

Five easy steps if you have a car accident:

1. Take care of yourself, and others’ safety.

2. Take down the other driver’s details – name, registration, phone number and insurance provider.

3. If you can, and it’s safe to do so, take photos of the cars while they are still in position. Send them to your insurer when you make your claim.

4. If there are independent witnesses, ask for their contact details.

5. Provide all the details to us when you make your claim.

From all of us at Aon, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

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This website contains general information only and does not take into account your individual needs or financial situation. It is important to note that limits, excesses, terms and conditions and exclusions apply to the products and services outlined on this website. Please refer to the relevant policy documents for details of cover, the provision of which is subject to the insurer’s underwriting criteria that apply at the time. Please contact us if you have any questions.