Super Sure's 12 Insurance Tips For Christmas

With the festive season in full swing, and the summer holidays steadily approaching, we are all looking forward to a well-deserved break with plenty of fun and activity during the holiday season.


It’s a time to unwind, connect and finish the year with warmth and good cheer. But it can also get a little full-on with last minute Christmas shopping in busy malls, preparing for loads of visitors, cooking massive meals, and then taking off in cars and caravans for holiday fun. So amid all the hustle and bustle, take a breath. And stay safe. With a little planning, you’ve got this!




Here’s our Super Sure Tips for the 12 Days of Christmas:

On the first day of Christmas my insurance adviser gave to me:

A Safe and Snug Home

· Lighting - timer switches or smartphone apps are great tools to program your lights to switch on at certain times. This gives the appearance that someone is home and can assist in deterring opportunistic criminals.

· Video monitoring - Consider purchasing a CCTV system that connects to your smartphone via an app. This will enable you to live-stream footage from cameras in your home through to your mobile device or tablet.

· Alarms - Invest in an IP monitored alarm system from an accredited provider. This type of alarm will not only alert your security provider, but can also send notifications to your mobile device if something is amiss. And remember if you have an alarm, but it’s not turned on when you’re out, any burglary claim may be compromised.

· Curtains - Consider leaving your curtains the way they are. This can give the impression you’re home, but just remember to keep expensive items, such as jewellery, out of sight.

· Locks - Test all your door and window locks before leaving to make sure they’re effective and in working order.

· Checking in – Have you got friends or family nearby that aren’t heading away on holiday? Ask them to occasionally check in on your property to make sure all is well. And to clear your letterbox – nothing screams “empty house!” louder than an overflowing letterbox.

· We all want the Christmas tree in the window, but keep presents out of sight; otherwise you’re tempting the Grinch.

· Burglars know where to look for keys left outside. Install a smart lock or get a lockbox.

· Don’t let the world know you’re going away by posting it on social media. Save your awesome photo posts until after you get back home.

· Discard wisely. What’s a sure sign to a burglar that your home is now filled with expensive gadgets? Empty boxes stacked next to your recycling bin. Instead, load them up in your car and find a place where you can drop these off.


On the Second Day of Christmas my insurance adviser gave to me:

Two Plumbers Plumbing

Ensure you’ve turned off water taps to your dishwasher and washing machine just in case a washer or hose breaks while you’re away. Similarly, unplug any non-essential electrical items to ensure they don’t become damaged in the event of a power surge.



On the Third Day of Christmas My Insurance Adviser gave to me:

Three Lights a Twinkling

Consider converting old incandescent Christmas lights to LED bulbs. LEDs can help you save electricity, but more importantly, they expel little to no heat when in use. This can significantly reduce the fire risk.

TIPS:

· Ensure your Christmas lights and cords are in safe working order before you plug them in. Overloaded power boards, exposed wiring and damaged cables can still present a fire danger. Check for and avoid using items with frayed cables, burn marks, and exposed wires.

· Put your lights on a timer switch or turn them off when you’re not in the room.

· Ensure your lights are used in the correct setting i.e. indoor/outdoor usage.

· Consider purchasing battery operated lights to decrease the fire risk.

· Check your lights to ensure they have a label confirming they've been tested and passed New Zealand Safety standards.

· Buy accredited lights and decorations: Ensure you choose quality over cost. Quality Christmas lights come with approval from accredited certification organisations stating that the products comply with applicable standards for safety and performance.

· Use only one extension cord: Do not consider doubling up on extension cords. It may be tempting to do so to gain more reach, but cords were not designed for this use. Stick to one and invest in longer cords if necessary.

· Outdoor lights are for OUTDOORS, and INDOOR lights are for INDOORS. When hanging outdoor lights, ensure that the lights are suitable for the place you’re hanging them. Outdoor lights are insulated specially for that purpose. Indoor lights are not suitable for wet weather.

· Don’t use candles as tree decorations: It may sound obvious, but candles are often used as festive tree decorations which is a very apparent fire risk.



On the Fourth Day of Christmas My Insurance Adviser gave to me:

Four Beef Patties Sizzling

Know the drill before you grill! Before using your BBQ, check for any gas leaks using the soapy water test (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08XyJ_WdszE&list=PLUiaMtB53eWN6pe9E6Omq8y3VhcHkwyIW&index=12) and ensure that the fittings and hoses are in perfect working order before you fire up the grill.




On the Fifth Day of Christmas My Insurance Adviser gave to me:

Five Golden Rings Well Protected

Your Christmas presents are protected with your home insurance under the contents portion of your policy. But there are some specific stipulations and limitations.

In general, keep your receipts as proof of purchase to make the claims process smoother if you are robbed.


If the gift is something like high-value jewellery, consider a jewellery endorsement, or add-on. The endorsement allows you to add even more protection for a little bit extra premium. Typically, jewellery may be limited to $2,000-$6,000 of coverage, depending on your policy. Understand there are specific limitations on things like golf equipment, business equipment (computers), wine, and bicycles. Talk to us if you have concerns about any special gift this Christmas.



On the Sixth Day of Christmas My Insurance Adviser gave to me:

Six Trees A-Trimming

· Go with a real one (better for the environment) and keep it fresh and well-watered to avoid fire.

· Install it correctly, so kids or pets (cats) don’t topple it over.

· Don’t hide wires under area rugs or run them across the room – it creates a tripping hazard. Position the tree near an outlet and don’t overdo it on the lights. Give the lights enough slack to handle the odd tug.

· As pretty as it may be, keep the tree away from anything that produces heat (heaters, stove, candles).

· Keep a fire extinguisher handy and ensure everyone knows where it is and how to use it.

· Know when to say goodbye to that beautiful tree. Real Christmas trees are special, but keeping them around after they’ve dried out can be a fire hazard.




On The Seventh Day of Christmas My Insurance Adviser gave to me:

A Free Insurance Review – UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE!

It’s very important to keep your insurance adviser or insurance company updated with any changes to your insurable items. After Christmas it would be wise to take stock and update your contents insurance policy to account for any new and valuable items you may have received as a gift e.g. jewellery, electronics, artwork etc.


TIP: Insure valuable Christmas presents before they’re opened!


Should you purchase any valuable items as Christmas presents, make sure they’re added to your Contents Insurance policy the moment you get them home. This will help ensure they are protected against unexpected events like fire or theft.


Personal Insurance

The summer holidays are a great time to look back at the year that was and consider whether you’ve had any big changes that might require your personal insurance cover to be reviewed. It might be things like getting married, having a child, buying a house, increasing your mortgage, ending a long term relationship. Or if you have an existing premium loading or exclusion, this may be reviewable if you’ve given up smoking or the health condition has gone away.


Give us a call for a chat.



On the Eighth Day of Christmas My Insurance Adviser Gave to Me:

Eight Burly Builders

Summer months can be the perfect time to renovate your property, or organise some long overdue maintenance. If hiring tradespeople, ensure they have a current Public Liability insurance policy with adequate limits in place – it is best practice to ask for their Certificate of Currency.


Mind the Ladder! This is a type of accident that can happen when putting Christmas decorations up or taking them down. Inside the home, the cause is often an unsecured stepladder with someone tiptoeing on the top step to reach the corner of the room.


Outside it could be a normal ladder being used to put up or take down lights or time to clean the gutters or carry out maintenance. Either way, never go up a ladder without someone else around, and make sure the bottom of the ladder is stable.





On the Ninth Day of Christmas My Insurance Adviser Gave To Me:

Nine Couriers a-Carrying Gifts

· Foil porch pirates. Ordering online might help you steer clear of heaving shopping malls and crowded parking spaces, but that doesn’t mean you’re automatically in the clear.

· Install a smart device. Various smart gadgets on the market can help keep packages secure. A video doorbell allows you to see and speak to the delivery person at your door through your mobile device. You can ask them to leave the package in an inconspicuous spot or activate your smart lock and have them leave it inside your door.

· Consider having your package delivered elsewhere like your workplace or a friend/family member’s house who’s at home.

· Track your packages. Reputable retailers often offer free package tracking so you can see when your purchase ships and where it stops along its journey to your front door. Being able to see when it might arrive can help you protect that package from theft.



On the Tenth Day of Christmas My Insurance Adviser gave to me:

Ten Tourists Travelling

We don’t provide travel insurance advice at Super Sure, but Consumer NZ has these great tips:

· Buy travel insurance as soon as you make your first booking. That way you’re covered if circumstances change and you need to alter your travel plans (though you’ll need to note any policy exclusions).

· Declare any pre-existing conditions. It will likely cost extra to get cover for pre-existing conditions but it could save you hundreds of thousands in medical bills. Make sure to include old injuries as well as illnesses, and the health conditions of any close family staying at home.

· Read the terms and conditions and check the limits carefully. Pay close attention to the exclusions. If you don’t think the policy is suitable, see if there’s a cooling-off period, where you’ll be able to get your money back if you change your mind (providing you haven’t departed or made a claim).

· If in doubt, ask your insurer. If you have any questions, phone your insurer and check – and keep a record of the call, who you spoke to and what they said.

· Check the latest travel advice for your destination. Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website safetravel.govt.nz. While you’re there, register your travel details. Check also the Locations of Interest Covid site.

· Print a copy of your travel policy with any emergency assistance numbers. Keep a copy in your hand luggage.

· Photograph your belongings (especially any valuables) as you pack. If something goes missing, you’ll have to prove ownership. Taking a photo is often easier than tracking down an old receipt.

· Pack expensive items, including cash and electronic devices, in your hand luggage (if the rules allow). Some policies refuse to cover valuables in your checked bags.

· Use the hotel room safe for your valuables.

· If something gets lost or stolen, let the service or police know as soon as possible. Many insurers require you to file the official paperwork (whether the airlines loses your bag or someone steals your wallet) within a set time, for example 24 hours.

· Keep all receipts and documents related to a claim. Insurers will want as much paperwork as possible, even small receipts for meals if your flight’s been delayed.



On the Eleventh Day of Christmas My Insurance Adviser gave to me:

Eleven Pets A-Purring

Don’t forget the furry members of the family.


· Holiday plants and pets do not mix : Make sure you keep your pets away from poinsettias, holly, mistletoe and real Christmas trees as they can be toxic.

· Buy a cooling pad or blanket to keep your pet cool in a hot summer’s day.

· Take your dog for a walk in the cooler parts of the day when the pavement isn’t so hot for their paws.

· Chocolate is toxic to dogs so don’t leave your Christmas choccies lying around for the pooch to pinch!


The SPCA NZ also gives this advice:


Common festive foods that are not safe for pets


· Fruit cake and Christmas pudding: aisins (and grapes) are toxic to cats and dogs. They are toxic to their kidneys and can cause lethargy, excessive thirst, vomiting and in serious cases can be fatal.

· Alcohol and caffeine: these are both toxic for pets.

· Avocados: these contain persin which causes symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhoea to cardiac arrest and death. Birds are particularly sensitive to persin but avocado should not be fed to any pets.

· Chocolate: for cats and dogs, chocolate can cause elevated heart rate, seizures, vomiting and diarrhoea.

· Macadamia nuts: can cause vomiting, weakness and tremors if eaten by dogs.

· Onions and chives: these contain disulphides and sulfoxides, which can damage red blood cells if eaten by cats and dogs.

· Pits and seeds of peaches, plums, persimmons, and apples: these contain a substance that degrades to cyanide, which is toxic. The pits of peaches are also choking hazards that can cause blockages and damage to the intestine.

· Xylitol (a common ingredient in sugarless treats and sugarless gum): causes hypoglycaemia in dogs, which can lead to seizures and liver failure in severe cases.

· Sweet-corn cobs: these can cause blockages in the small intestine that may need to be removed surgically. Don’t let your dog chew on the cob.

· Turkey skin/pork crackling/sausages/fatty meats: these can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhoea and may lead to pancreatitis.




On the Twelfth Day of Christmas My Insurance Adviser Gave to me:

Twelve Warm Wishes

It’s been a challenging year, so Murray, April and Ray at Super Sure wish all our clients, family and friends a fabulous 12 months to come. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and safe year ahead in 2022.


Mere Kirihimete, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.



NEED TO GET IN TOUCH OVER THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD?

Murray is on call to help with insurance advice or claim support right throughout the holiday period. Please don’t hesitate to give him a call on 027 4409493 if you need to.