Before hitting the road

Before hitting the road

leaving on a jet plane, or sailing the seven seas this holiday…
~Courtesy Hollard Insurance


Check and test your alarm system, outdoor beams, electric fence, back-up battery and linked security provider’s response service to ensure these are all in good working order. Loadshedding is no longer an unplanned event, and your security system’s back-up batteries need to be in place and functional to reduce the risk of theft.

Switch off your geyser to protect it against power surges during loadshedding and avoid geyser failure – this will also save you on your electricity costs at the same time. A win-win!

Unplug electrical and electronic equipment and install a surge arrester (that complies with your insurer’s policy requirements) on your home’s main electrical distribution board to avoid the risk of damaging power surges during loadshedding or lightning. Although not designed for this purpose, a surge arrester may at times also assist in preventing a fire. Contact DWDV Brokers in the event you need assistance to order an insurer approved surge arrester.

Remember to empty your fridge and freezer to reduce the risk of spoiled food and odour damage during power-cuts. Top up your electricity units if you use prepaid electricity to ensure your fridge and alarm system remain functional at all times.

Install an under-/over-voltage and surge protector device with a time delay (specifically for fridges and freezers) to connect them (one appliance per device) to your wall socket. This will significantly reduce the risk of power surge damage to your fridge and freezer while you are away. You can find these devices at most hardware stores.


Take precautionary steps to reduce the increasing risk of solar panel and battery theft and vandalism, especially while you are away from home, by enhancing your security measures around your property and ensuring that your beams, electric fence, alarm and CCTV cameras are all in working order.

Inspect your solar panel system for loose connections and have these professionally repaired to prevent electrical shorts that can lead to a fire.

Ensure that your building cover’s sum insured includes the value of your renewable energy equipment and/or a photovoltaic system including inverters, batteries and generators that are attached or permanently fitted to your home to avoid underinsurance in the event of an insurance claim.


Lock up before you go. Secure your house and contents by closing all windows, locking all doors and ensuring your alarm system is activated. Check with your security provider if there is a remote alarm activation app for your home security alarm available on the Google Play store for Android/Samsing phones or Apple’s App store for iOS/iPhone devices. Download the app to enable you to remotely monitor and manage your alarm system.

Save the telephone numbers of your policy’s roadside assistance and home emergency services, and the details of other public emergency services, on your phone. Remember to fill up your car’s tank, to reduce the possibility of getting stranded in an area without cell phone reception and being unable to reach the nearest petrol station to call for help. (If you are travelling outside South Africa’s borders, check your policy to know in which cross-border countries you are covered for roadside emergency assistance, which conditions apply, what emergency telephone number to call, and which towing and repatriation procedures to follow after an accident or breakdown.)

Empty your home’s gutters and downpipes, as collected debris can cause blockages during heavy rain or storms and can result in roof leaks, flooding and water damage.

Ensure your car (and trailer or caravan) is roadworthy, as insurers don’t cover loss or damage caused directly as a result of your car nor meeting the roadworthy requirements of the National Road Traffic Act. It is the rainy season in parts of South Africa and tyres that are below the legal tread limit influence the distance your car travels before coming to a complete stop in wet road conditions. If you are in an accident and your insurer’s investigation shows that the accident could have been prevented if your car’s tyres were within the legal tread limit, your claim may be rejected.

Test your vehicle’s tracking device, as it may be a policy condition of cover to have a tracking device in working order at the time of an accident. Plus, ensure you are complying with your insurer’s latest tracking device requirements for your specific vehicle to be covered against theft, hijacking, attempted theft and attempted hijacking. Due to the rise of theft and hijackings of high-risk vehicles, your insurer might have adjusted its tracking device requirements on your policy since your previous holiday trip, so it pays to check.

Be aware of remote jamming that could prevent your car from locking with the remote, and look out for the latest keyless car theft trend – physically check that your car is locked when leaving it behind while out and about this holiday. If you use a vehicle with keyless access, buy a signal-blocking (Faraday) pouch to store your remote/key fob (the small handheld remote-control device that controls a remote keyless entry system.) A Faraday pouch or bag is lined with layers of metallic material and its purpose is to shield devices like remotes/key fobs from outside signals. This prevents criminals from intercepting a remote/key fob signal. If you don’t have a Faraday pouch, store your remote/key fob as far away as possible from your vehicle – especially of the vehicle and the front of your holiday home are both easily accessible. Criminals can amplify the remote/key fob signal from a remote/key fob hung up on a key rack at the front door, for example, to a relay box and then transmit it to a second relay box near the vehicle. As soon as the signal reaches the second relay box, the vehicle will unlock, and the criminals can drive away.

Lock all your valuables, small items and expensive jewellery away in your holiday home or hotel’s wall-mounted safe, and keep expensive belongings out of view, inside a locked car boot or concealed where possible, while travelling (these may be requirements for cover under your policy).

If you have any questions or require any additional information, please feel free to contact us on 014 592-1077, or email us at

Enjoy your holiday and travel safely!