Start holiday preparations early by following this checklist with your clients so that if they do need to make special arrangements or get repairs or adjustments done, they’ll have enough time to do so.
1: Pay attention to security. Test the alarm and armed response, replace batteries in all passive alarm sensors, make sure door magnets are working, check the electric fence for any broken or faulty strands and clear any branches or plants that could set it off in error. Ensure that opening doors and windows are properly secured. Don’t leave this to the last minute – it’s a busy time of year for contractors so if something needs to be repaired, leave some time to get it done beforehand.
2: If you’re travelling abroad or to neighbouring countries, ensure that driver’s licences are valid. Check the territorial limits of your client’s motor insurance cover regarding cross-border requirements – some countries insist on licence papers or proof of insurance for your vehicle.
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3: Appoint a reputable house-sitting service to switch on lights, feed and take care of pets, clear postbox, water plants and put out rubbish bins on collection day – and inform your client of any problems. Leave a spare set of keys, as well as a contact address and phone number in the case of an emergency, such as a power failure, fire, burglary, burst geyser or the resetting of the alarm.
4: Do a vehicle and trailer inspection, check that the cars and trailers are roadworthy and properly licensed. Test the vehicle’s tracking device.
5: Lock the mains box outside the property (burglars may trip this in the hope that the alarm and fence batteries run flat), lock away garden implements and tools that can be used to force open any doors or windows.
6: Pay attention to outside lighting by including day-night sensors or motion sensor lights and replacing any blown bulbs.
7: Pay the water and lights bill to avoid a power or water cut while on holiday. Immobilise any vehicles that are left behind and place any weapons, valuables and important documents in a safe.
8: Arrange insurance cover on the expensive Christmas gifts such as jewellery, tech gadgets, appliances and so on. Clients can even inform their broker before they purchase the gifts so that they know their items are covered.
9: Check that all the items travelling with your client are covered under their all risks insurance section on their household contents policy.
10: Cancel subscriptions to newspapers and other regular deliveries, this hide the tell-tale signs that no-one is home.
11: They should take the number of their 24-hour incident management centre with them and leave details with a neighbour.
12: Disconnect computers, TVs and other lightning-sensitive equipment including TV aerials, this will also help save on utility bills. Unload the fridge or freezer to avoid deterioration of perishable items in the event of a power failure.
With the fast-paced lifestyles the clients live and the demands made on our time during the year, make sure your client holiday checks are done and their insurance policies are current and up to date so that the only thing you need to worry about this holiday is your rest and relaxation.