The Easter break is here, and many South Africans are making travel plans to enjoy family time and get a break from their busy work schedules. While the holiday is high on the agenda for some consumers, adequate protection of valuables such as car, home contents and other personal belongings may not be.
“Although having insurance in place to protect valuables such as your car and home is necessary throughout the year, there are factors specific to holiday seasons that should be highlighted on your pre-holiday check-list, says Etienne du Toit, Chief Commercial Officer at Momentum Short-term Insurance.”
Du Toit notes that getting in touch with your financial adviser and/or insurer to understand what you are covered for is essential so you can put measures in place to ensure you are not underinsured.
“It’s important to review the details of your short-term insurance policy ahead of the holidays so you can get the necessary cover for all your valuables,” he says.
Du Toit also shares his top tips for stress-free claiming if misfortune strikes during your holiday:
- Have the emergency contact details of your insurer with you at all times. Momentum clients can find this information on the app, website or their policy documentation.
- Report damage or theft of your valuables to law enforcement authorities as soon as possible.
- Momentum clients can use the Momentum App or website for hail and windscreen claims to ensure quick and easy processing. Other types of claims can also be submitted effortlessly using the Momentum app or website.
Once your insurance is sorted and you’re ready to hit the road, it is important to bear the following in mind to stay safe while on route:
- Check your vehicle’s roadworthiness. You read this every holiday season, but that’s because it’s true: poorly maintained vehicles cause many of the accidents on our roads. Brake failure, tyres (smooth, poorly aligned, improperly inflated) and faulty steering account for most accidents. According to statistics from Road Traffic Management Corporation, vehicle factors contribute 14.1% of all accidents and of the 14.1% of vehicle factors, 74.3% are allocated to burst tyres. Desiree van Niekerk, Brand Manager for Supa Quick says tyres should be regularly checked for alignment and rotated; they should also be replaced when necessary. When it comes to brakes, danger signals include a soft, spongy feeling when the brake pedal is depressed, there is a scraping sound, or the pedal needs to be pumped. If the car pulls to one side when the brakes are applied, the brakes could be about to fail.
- Choose travel times carefully. The more traffic, the less safe, so it’s worth finding out when the peak times are expected to be on your route. Peak times this year are expected to be Thursday 18th April between 12:00 and 21:00, and Friday 19th April between 06:00 and 12:00.
- Take regular breaks along the way. Encourage the driver – taxi drivers included – to stop and take regular breaks at least every 2 hours or after travelling a distance of 200km.
- Drive smart. Aside from taking regular breaks as noted above, drivers should check their driving habits. Driver error is responsible for around 1.6 million accidents a year. Alertness is key to safe driving, but especially when there is lots of traffic. Cell phones increase the risk of an accident by four times, according to the World Health Organisation, while driving under the influence of alcohol increases the risk of an accident significantly.
- Take care of passenger safety. Drivers, be they private individuals or commercial operators, have a duty of care to their passengers. This includes the roadworthiness of their vehicle and their driving style, but they also need to ensure that passengers are buckled up and that luggage is safely and securely stowed. Children, in particular, need to be properly restrained at all times while travelling. For children under 1.4m in height the appropriate car seat must be used to ensure their safety and comfort.
“You can’t control road conditions or the actions of other drivers, but you can make sure that your driving is as safe as possible. Following these safety tips is a must, and before you set out, get your vehicle checked for free at your nearest Supa Quick outlet, or spend some time on the Quickademy website, a source of information and a fun online learning centre for car owners.” concludes Supa Quick’s Desiree van Niekerk. “Let’s make this Easter the safest ever.”