Barker Insurance

Keeping your festive cheer clear

Festive season 1

With the festive season less than a month away and the excitement of the Rugby World Cup still lingering, it's easy to find the thoughts of us South Africans a bit scattered.

Amidst this festive cheer, however, the importance of safety and security becomes vital - a sentiment deeply rooted in our Barker values. On that note, here is some sage advice to take heed of to ensure these special times remain just that…

It’s time to travel

As holidaymakers hit the road, eager to indulge in the season's celebrations, the risk of travel incidents, unfortunately, climbs.

The surge in traffic, combined with the excitement and rush of holiday preparations, can lead to unexpected turns in your travel plans:

  • Travel Planning: To navigate around heavy traffic, carefully plan your travel dates and times. Consider using alternative routes for a safer and more relaxed journey. Don't forget to bring your car phone charger to stay connected, especially if unexpected delays extend your travel time.

  • Vehicle Safety Checks: It's essential to conduct a thorough safety inspection of your vehicle before embarking on your holiday. Check the tyre tread, ensure you have a fully inflated spare tyre, verify the functionality of brakes and windscreen wipers, confirm the health of your battery, and test both head and brake lights. These checks are vital for a smooth and secure trip.

  • Vehicle Tracking Check: With vehicle thefts typically rising during the holiday season, it's important to ensure your vehicle is protected. If your vehicle is equipped with Beame or Matrix tracking units, contact your Barker Consultant for assistance in checking the status of your tracking unit. You can also download the Matrix App from your app store, which offers information on your unit's health and battery status and includes an emergency assist button. In case of emergencies, you can also use this contact number: 0800 111 322

  • Barker 24/7 Roadside Assistance Don’t forget to save our Barker Assist number (0861 227 537) on your phone in case of a roadside or home emergency.

  • Park Safely – If it doesn’t rain, it hails! Where possible, park your vehicle under cover in a garage or under a carport. When visiting the shops for your festive shopping, opt for the undercover parking option if available.

  • Party Responsibly - As we jive to the jingle of the year's end, let's not forget the art of responsible revelry. Nominate a designated driver or opt to use ride-sharing services to get you and your loved ones safely to your destination.

Keep your home safe

‘Tis the season to be jolly and this extends to burglars who feast their eyes on empty homes and opportunities:

  • Timed Lighting: An empty house can be a beacon for burglars. Install timers on your lights to simulate occupancy, have good outdoor lighting that switches on automatically at night, or motion sensor lights, all of which will act as a good deterrent to potential unwelcome visitors.

  • Lock Checks: Before leaving for festive gatherings or on holiday, double-check all locks on doors and windows and secure all ‘doggy or kitty doors’ and entrances that can admit small intruders. Walk the perimeter of your property to check your fences, gates, and walls for any weak spots that could be used to gain entry. A simple oversight can invite trouble.

  • A Global Guardian: CCTV systems, both surprisingly affordable and highly effective, offer the convenience of monitoring your home regardless of your location.

  • Subtle Signals: Arrange for someone to regularly clear your mail, and newspapers and manage the wheelie bin, as these being left out for days are clear indicators of an unoccupied home.

  • Sound the Alarms: Arming all security systems (alarm system, external beams, electric fence) should be your first line of defense for your home security, both while you are home and away. Ensure that the battery backup of your alarm system is functioning properly. This is crucial to ensure the alarm's activation during a power outage.

  • Paw Patrol: Arrange someone responsible to care for your pets and provide the caretaker with the necessary animal hospital details along with ‘medical aid cards’ if you have pet insurance. Alternatively, consider a doggy or kitty holiday care service to keep your fur babies loved if they not traveling with you.

  • Smoke Signals: Be mindful of fire safety when lighting up your home with festive lights and candles.

  • Don’t get yourself in hot water – Switching your geyser off while you are away will not only save you on electricity costs but will also prevent that unwelcome home gift of a flooded house should it burst whilst you are away.

Insurance Review

All Barker Clients recently received their Annual Policy Review document. If you haven't reviewed this document yet, please do so to confirm that your coverage is current before your departure. For any required updates, get in touch with your Barker Consultants.

This step is crucial to cover any holiday mishaps, from minor break-ins to significant losses.

Electrical Enemies

Power surges continue to be a source of damage to household electronics and electrical devices. Barkers provides a FREE surge protection solution when you cover your household contents and building in your policy. This offers a strong defense against storm-induced and unpredictable electrical surges.

Digital Dangers

The theft of cell phones and devices can be far more than just a financial loss. It can lead to identity theft and other cybercrimes. Keep them secure when you are out and about, and not on display when dining out in street-facing restaurants where they can easily be snatched. Check that you have updated your policy to reflect any new electronic purchases or cellphone upgrades.

Gift Guarding

During the season of giving, beware of those taking.

As you fill your digital cart, navigate the e-commerce waters with discernment. Stick to trusted retailers and keep an eagle eye on your statements.

Remember to account for new gifts and valuables (collectibles) in your insurance policy. It's not just about the monetary value but the sentiment they carry.

Utilize a safe for valuables and understand the implications of your insurance coverage should you choose to leave your home unattended.

As you relish in the season's thrills, rest easy knowing Barker has you covered! Happy holidays and let's make it a South African Festive Season to remember.

Team Barker and your Barker consultant are always a message or call away. If you have any questions or queries, get in touch.