As the festive season approaches, many of us will be heading out onto the road and leaving our homes for vacation destinations. Make sure you, your family and your insured possession are safe during the holidays with our tips.
Making sure you and your vehicles are safe while driving on the roads
Before heading out on a long road trip, you should:
- Take your car for a roadworthy inspection and make sure your tyres and brakes are in good working order.
- Make sure that each tyre has adequate tread of at least 1 mm, that your spare wheel is in good condition and that you have all the necessary tools to change a wheel. Also check that you have a reflective triangle and good quality flashlight that you can use to warn motorists that your car has broken down.
- Inspect your windows for any chips or cracks and have these fixed before the trip. Check that your window wipers are in good working order and replace them if necessary.
- If you are driving long distances, try drive with another person in the car. You should make stops to get out of your car and stretch your legs every two hours. Try to stay hydrated and switch drivers every few hours to stay focused and prevent fatigue.
- Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is illegal and extremely dangerous. Over the festive season, many drivers on the roads are driving under the influence and, as a result, you should avoid driving whenever possible to reduce your risk on the road.
If you have a DQ-Track installed, you get access to a range of state-of-the-art safety features including Impact Alert, Find my vehicles, the vehicle panic button, as well as weather warnings. In addition, our value-added services provide you with emergency roadside assistance after a mechanical or electrical breakdown, flat tyre, flat battery or any other roadside-related emergency of your comprehensively insured vehicles. You can also have access to locksmith services if you have locked your keys in your vehicle.
If you are driving outside of South Africa, remember where the territorial limits apply to make sure you have cover. You will have cover in Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of South Africa, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe. If your vehicle is damaged outside the Republic of South Africa, repairs other than emergency repairs may only be done in the Republic of South Africa.
Make sure your home is safe and household contents protected
You should let your security company know that you are leaving and ask them to do a check to make sure that the alarm and all motion sensors are working. Also leave an emergency contact number with them.
- Make sure that your CCTV cameras are working and are positioned to give a clear view of what is happening both inside and outside your property.
- Check that your electric fence works well and cut back any plants or trees that may interfere with the fence.
- Double check that all doors are locked and that all windows are shut properly before you set out
- Unplug all unnecessary appliances, such as the TV, coffee maker and kettle. Not only is this protection from damaging power surges, it is also an environmentally friendly practice.
- If there is a household emergency in your insured home during the festive season, your Home Assist benefit provides access to emergency electricity and plumbing servicing. We also provide locksmith services.
- Do not store any jewellery or valuables in your home while you’re away. Rather put them in a safety deposit box. If you have no choice, make sure to lock these away safely, out of plain sight.
Additional tips to make sure your home is safe while you are away
- Make sure to park your car out of sight, preferably behind a closed garage door.
- Minimise any tell-tale signs that you are away from home:
- Arrange with a friend or neighbour to check on your property occasionally and collect your post.
- Newspaper and other subscriptions should be cancelled for the time you are away on holiday.
- Don’t leave a message on your voicemail that says you are away on holiday.
- Don’t close your curtains and consider using a time-switch to turn your lights on at random times in the evening, rather than programming them to switch on at the same time every day.
- Never post your travel plans on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Also be wary to tell people of your plans. You never know when your trip away from home may be overheard or seen by a potential robber.
- Don’t leave a spare key under the flower pot, door mat or any other place outside of your home. Rather leave it with a trustworthy neighbour or family member.
- Even if you are not going away, here are some tips to make sure you’re safe at home
- Discard the boxes of any expensive items and Christmas presents with care. Placing things like a flat screen TV box, computer boxes and so on outside your house for garbage collection alerts thieves of what is in the home. You should try dispose of the boxes on the day the garbage is collected or, even better, consider burning or collapsing the boxes of more expensive items.
- Always keep security gates locked – even if you are entertaining outside.
- Keep an eye out for any people that look suspicious roaming your neighbourhood and report them if their behaviour concerns you.
Your phone can now talk to us if you can't
With Discovery Insure’s panic button, your phone can talk to us if you find yourself in danger and need help fast. Press your Android smartphone’s power button at least five times in quick succession to alert us if you find yourself in an emergency situation. We’ll be able to track exactly where your vehicle is and send a response team to help.
Discovery Insure's Impact Alert sends help when you need it most
Wish you had the technology to call for help when you most need it? Discovery Insure’s Impact Alert feature can detect when you’ve been in an accident. If we can’t get hold of you immediately, we’ll send emergency assistance to your location, while our Vehicle panic button can be used to alert emergency services when you’re in your car and need help.
South African roads are among the most dangerous in the world, with almost 90% of accidents caused by bad driving. But Discovery drivers are improving these stats, one behaviour change at a time.
South African roads are among the most dangerous in the world, with almost 90% of accidents caused by bad driving. Discovery drivers are improving these stats, one behaviour change at a time.
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