Seven steps to a safer Christmas from Hine Insurance

No one would wish for a loss adjuster to arrive on Christmas morning, so to avoid such a situation we have outlined some of the key things to remember when insuring your home or business during the festive season.

Businesses up and down the country close for Christmas; whether only for a few days or a number of weeks. This means that although doors are locked and shutters pulled down, homes and commercial premises are unoccupied and therefore exposed to a greater number of insurance risks including theft and vandalism.

It’s important to consider the following in preparation for the holidays:

  1. Check that you have a minimum of key operated window locks on accessible windows and sky lights and at least a five lever mortice door lock on your main entrance and exit doors.
  2. Consider other physical deterrents such as external shutters or internal collapsible grills and intruder alarms with or without police response, to ensure things are working correctly. If in doubt, refer to your current policy to see if there are particular security requirements you must adhere to. If these are ignored, you may find yourself uninsured for theft and malicious damage claims.
  3. Once you’ve secured the property, make sure you’re able to turn off the water supply for the period you are away. Burst pipes can cause considerable damage, especially when left unattended to for any period of time.
  4. Make sure your gutters are cleared before you leave; ingress of dirty rain water is the last thing you want to come back to after a few days off.
  5. Unplug all electrical items to reduce the risk of electrical fires. Be extra careful with Christmas decorations and if there’s something you want to leave on overnight, make sure your insurer is aware and they have accepted this, just in case.
  6. If you are a retailer the countdown to Christmas could be one of your busiest periods, so always ensure you have an adequate stock sum insured or at least check your policy for details of the seasonal increase cover. This will usually range from 10%-60% automatic increase, but be careful as it will only apply at specific times throughout the year.
  7. And finally, always check the unoccupancy condition within your policy. This condition usually restricts the cover provided by the policy and imposes strict requirements on such things as your mains services. This can apply after 21 days on some policies so check your own policy for details.

For more information on how we can help insure your home and/or business before the Christmas break, call 0161 438 0000 or email info@hine.co.uk.

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