Property Advice

Holiday insurance

Private Property South Africa
Sarah-Jane Meyer |
Holiday insurance

You have probably budgeted for holiday travel, accommodation and entertainment, but have you checked that your property is adequately insured while you are away - or what it will cost if it isn’t? Checking your insurance policy before you set off could save you a lot of money.

Some homeowner and household contents insurance policies automatically increase cover over holiday periods. This is because people often receive or buy expensive gifts, especially during the summer holidays, and many are away from home.

However, it would be best if you were sure a clause to this effect is included in your policy. If not, you must check whether your policy allows you to temporarily raise your cover during holiday periods. Some insurers refrain from taking on new business at certain times of the year to prevent having clients who only want cover over the holiday season.

Empty home

If you leave your home unattended for just a few hours or days, ensure that your security features, as stipulated in your insurance policy, are all in working order and in use. For example, your claim will not be settled if your security gates are not locked.

Have someone occupy your home, or at least ask a trusted neighbour or friend to clear your post-box and keep an eye out for anything untoward.

Before leaving home:

  • Lock away expensive insured items in accordance with your policy.
  • Make sure all windows are closed, and doors are locked.
  • If your insurer requires that you have an alarm, make sure it is armed.

Taking measures to deter criminals is good practice whether you are at home or not. However, from an insurance perspective, the most important thing is to ensure you comply with all the security requirements stipulated in your policy. Not doing so could make your holiday more expensive than planned.


Underinsuring your home or household contents - or only insuring particular items - to save on monthly premiums will likely cost you more when it matters.

It’s a mistake to think you are covered because you have insurance in place if it is not the correct value. If you are underinsured and need to claim, you may be disappointed by how little your insurer will pay out.

For example, if the total replacement value of your household contents is R100 000 and you are insured for only R80 000, the insurer will settle only 80 percent of any claim. If your home is robbed while you are on holiday, and the insurance assessor judges that your loss is R50 000, the insurer will only pay 80 per cent of the total R50 000, which is R40 000. This means you will have to find another R10 000 to cover the cost of replacing the stolen items.

When reviewing your policy, keep in mind that your all-risk contents cover must be adequate. This will cover items you take with you when you leave your home, like cellphones, laptops or cameras.

Being underinsured can result in unwanted additional costs over the holiday period. If you need extra cover, make sure to arrange this before you are about to leave on holiday. Get advice from your broker or your insurer as soon as possible.

Writer : Sarah-Jane Meyer

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