Living in the GCC might be one of the safest places on the planet, but that’s no reason to become complacent. If you are planning to travel this summer, you’ll be taking a few select items with you but the rest of your worldly possessions will be left at home. Make sure they are protected.
You may think that you don’t own anything of great value – no pricey jewels, contemporary art collection or designer furniture – but imagine if there was a fire or a flood in your home and you had to replace all of your furniture, clothing and electronic goods in one go. It would cost a small fortune, even if Ikea is your preferred furniture supplier.
Make sure to invest in a good home insurance policy, which will give you peace of mind while you are on your travels. While the chances of being burgled may be slim, there are plenty of other things that could go wrong and home insurance will protect you in the case of theft, fire, flood, lightning damage, explosions, riots or malicious damage. It is not unusual for properties in Saudi Arabia to suffer from water leaks, either caused by faulty piping or ageing water tanks.
Look for a policy that will cover this eventuality, whether the leak comes from fixed appliances, pipes, water tanks or fish tanks.
Some policies will also cover the damage caused by a vehicle running into your home or a tree or lamppost falling onto your property.
If you return from your holiday and your home is, for any of the reasons stated above, not fit to be lived in, a good home insurance policy, like SABB Home Takaful plan, will cover the costs of alternative accommodation. SALAMA Property All Risk and Wataniya Householders policies will also cover the cost of alternative accommodation up to the sum insured. It is worth thinking about whether you want to extend your policy to cover your garden and outdoor areas as well.
You can also take a few simple precautions before you go to ensure that your property stays safe and secure. Enlist the help of a neighbour or friend and ask them to pop by every few days to check that everything is in order. Ask them to water the plants and get rid of any flyers or post mounting up on your doorstep – nothing says ‘empty house’ more than a heap of delivery menus lying untouched by your door. Also ask them to switch a couple of lights on and off to give the impression that there is someone home, and turn your car on every now and again to ensure that you don’t come home to a flat battery. Just remember to buy them a nice gift while you’re away.
If you can’t get anyone to help, invest in some timers for a couple of your interior lights or fit motion sensors onto your exterior lighting. Also make sure to empty your fridge and freezer, in case they break down while you are away or there is some kind of power outage. The last thing you want to come home to is a stinky kitchen. And remember to turn electronic items off at the mains. This will save electricity and prevent the possibility of fires caused by faulty wiring. It also means you won’t have to worry that you’ve left something on by mistake – which means you can get back to the business of enjoying your holiday.