We hope you’ve had a successful and healthy 2022.

We thought it would be useful to share with you some insurance related hints and tips this festive period along with some considerations for the new year.

  1. Values of items have increased – for example, gold, silver and particular watches are now more expensive. The end of the year is always a good time to check that you have the correct level of cover in place and are not underinsured, especially if you have higher value contents or jewellery.
  2. Hackers love this time of year and cyber crime continues to be one of the biggest risks to businesses and individuals during the festive period, with a sharp increase in online spending. Remember to be vigilant with suspicious links and offers that seem too good to be true!
  3. You will no doubt head to the shops this week for last minute Christmas shopping but you should never leave valuables in sight in your car if it’s unattended. Christmas is a prime time for thieves to visit car parks. Put as much as you can in the boot and out of sight. If you’re visiting a number of shops, consider leaving your purchases in the store and collecting them all in one go at the end of your shopping trip.
  4. If you’ve bought someone a surprise expensive present for Christmas, for example jewellery or a watch, and are keeping it hidden at your home, it shouldn’t be a surprise to your insurance broker! Some insurers automatically increase your sum insured to accommodate any festive extras you’ll have in your home. Levels of additional cover over the Christmas period will vary from one insurer to the next, and can have all sorts of conditions and provisos attached, so you should read your policy documents carefully or contact us to check your cover.
  5. Keep festivities fire free. Remember to never leave your Christmas tree lights plugged in when going to bed or leaving your home, even for a short time. Make sure to avoid hanging decorations above or near to an open fire or stove. Keep your Christmas tree at least 4 feet away from heat sources such as heaters, fires and candles.
  6. The popularity of open fires and wood fires have increased with the energy crisis. If you have an open fire be sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year.
  7. Portable heaters have become popular alternative for people trying to stay warm although the London Fire Brigade is warning people to take extra care if they use portable heaters, amid fears that more people will turn to alternative cheaper fuel methods as cost-of-living pressures deepen.  Make sure heaters are well maintained and in good working order. Check that your heater isn’t on a recall list – there have been many fires in the past year connected to heaters that have been recalled. Never install, repair or service appliances yourself.  Keep heaters well away from clothes, curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes. And always sit at least one metre away from a heater as it could set light to your clothes or chair.
  8. House fires sparked by candles have hit their highest level in more than a decade as people cut back on electricity to reduce soaring energy bills. ever leave lit candles unattended and always put them out when you leave the room – even for a moment. Place your candles carefully on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children. Keep candles away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books. Don’t move candles once they are lit and don’t leave them near open windows.
  9. The threat of burst water pipes is generally more common in buildings that are left unoccupied during the festive holiday period. Pipes burst by frozen water are one of the most common causes of domestic damage and home insurance claims. Claims triggered by escape of water can include damage to ceilings and flooring and for redecoration. Preventing frozen pipes is easier and cheaper than fixing the damage they caused. If you’re a Landlord, not only could a burst pipe cost you a lot of money to repair but you could lose rental income if a flood forces tenants to move out temporarily.
  10. If you have businesses premises and are closing for the festive period, remember to set all alarms and lock doors and windows.
  11. You may have read in our recent insights that ‘underinsurance’ is a big issue right now. Your premium is calculated based on your individual circumstances and the amount of cover you choose to take out to protect your personal items or business assets. Make sure you keep an up-to-date account of all business contents or higher value personal items which can help set the right sum insured. This should reflect peak stock levels, rather than the average. Please click here to read more and do contact us if you are unsure whether you have the right level of cover.
  12. And finally, if you’re going away – resist the temptation to post on social media. If your home is left empty during the festive period it could be an easy target for burglars.

Wishing you and your family happy holidays and we look forward to working with you in 2023.

If you require urgent assistance during the festive period please call 020 3907 7866.