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How you can stay worry-free this summer
As the holiday season approaches, we’re all a bit inclined to relax, zone out and enjoy ourselves in the glorious Aussie sun. But not so fast!
This time of year brings with it some risks that must be properly addressed if you are to start the New Year on a positive note. We’ll look at two main risks you must consider over the summer and what you can do about them.
Bushfires are a constant risk for Victorians and this year is no exception. In fact, due to what is slated to be one of the strongest El Niños on record, meteorologists are predicting stronger-than-usual bushfire risk this summer.
In recent years, bushfires have torn through parts of Victoria, unfortunately leaving many homes in their wake. Many homeowners have then been left out of pocket due to increased building standards, which have resulted in an increased cost of rebuilding. These building standards applied not only to new buildings but also major renovations or repairs in areas determined to be bushfire prone.
No doubt all of the properties affected met the planning compliances when first built, however changes in building codes and overlays applicable to the area meant that the initial sum insured specified fell short of today’s rebuild cost.
So consider when the last time you reviewed your Sums Insured under your Insurance policy. Changes in building codes or increased planning controls such as Bushfire Management overlays could mean your current Sum Insured is inadequate; leaving you underinsured. With the added risk this summer, this is not a predicament you want to find yourself in.
Talk to your risk adviser about your sum insured and find out whether increased planning controls such as Bushfire Management overlays have affected you.
Burglary and theft
It’s also a good time to think about how to prepare your house if you go away. Leaving your property unattended can cause unwanted stress at a time when you should be relaxing. To ensure your mind is free of worry when you’re on your break, take some precautions.
Inform your neighbours of the days you will be away and ask them to keep a look out for any suspicious activity. You might even want to ask them to park in your driveway on occasion to make it look like you’re home.
Leave a key to your front door, along with emergency numbers for your destination with a trusted friend who is willing to watch your home and enter if needed.
Stop newspaper and mail deliveries. Built up mail can signal to potential intruders that your home is unoccupied. You can also set automatic timers for various lights inside and outside your house – this can add to the illusion that you are home as well.
Before you walk out the door, place all valuables in a locked safe or safety deposit box and do a final walk through and make sure everything is locked down tight.
Most importantly, make sure your insurance covers are current – especially your home and contents policy. Ensuring that your insurance policy accurately reflects the value of the contents of your home is essential in the event of a claim. To make sure it’s up to date, again, just talk to your risk adviser!