10 Tips for Holiday Peace of Mind
17 November 2015
By David Crossley, BDO Wealth Advisers, Wealth Practice Manager
As the holiday season draws near and we start planning time away with loved ones, it is important to ensure we are protected should anything unforeseen happen:
- Insurance – Have you ensured that you have adequate insurance cover for your home and contents, your car and of course yourself and your family? It is a sad fact that more people die on our roads over the festive season than at any other time during the year, so make sure that everything is in place before you leave.
- Domestic animals – Have you arranged an alternative home for them in the form of kennels or a suitable person to look after them while you are away? Remember to include all the necessary contacts for the vet, as well as all their inoculation certificates.
- Your motor vehicle – If you are using it for your holiday, has it been adequately serviced and inspected for the journey? Often, vehicles spend 11 months travelling short distances, so when they hit the open road, they are more likely to develop problems.
- Your home – Have you secured it against burglary, and have you locked all valuables away? If you are able to secure the services of a house sitter, then this will give you peace of mind whilst you are away. Alternatively, give a set of house keys to the neighbour, together with the code and access to your alarm, if you have one. There is nothing more annoying than an alarm that goes off for two weeks while you are away. Make sure any responsible person has a contact number for you if they need to phone you urgently.
- Post and newspaper deliveries – Nothing gives away the fact that a house is empty than a pile of newspapers in the driveway and post falling out of the post box! Arrange with a neighbour or family member to collect these items regularly or cancel deliveries while you are away.
- Is your will up to date? – This may sound alarmist, but if the worst was to happen and you were to pass away while on holiday, your affairs will still have to be wound up. Not having a valid will creates enormous problems for your heirs when it comes to winding up your estate.
- Your personal details – It is always a good idea to write down your bank access codes and put them somewhere safe, known perhaps to a trusted friend or to your spouse. Very often when someone dies, their heirs are unable to access this key information, which can be the difference between family members having to wait for funds from the Estate and being able to live with reasonable dignity while your estate is being wound up.
- Household appliances – Before you go away, it is a good idea to switch off all major appliances, such as the geyser, and the taps for the washing machine and the dishwasher. This includes electrical appliances that have a standby mode. Besides saving substantial amounts of electricity, you don't want to come back home and find that you are knee deep in water from a faulty water valve on an appliance!
- Alarms – Ensure that your house alarm, if you have one, is working properly! Conduct a test and inform your armed response that you are going to test the system. If you are comfortable with the integrity of your Armed Response Company, then inform them that you will be away and ask them to check your property on a daily basis.
- Valuables – If you intend to leave valuables at home such as your wedding ring or ipad, ensure that they are locked in in safe or difficult to find.
Once you have followed these simple rules, you will be able to go on holiday, secure in the knowledge that you have done everything possible to ensure peace of mind whilst you are away.
Have a wonderful holiday!