As the holiday season approaches and the joyful anticipation of Christmas shopping takes centre stage, it is crucial to recognise that criminals may be joining the festive spree, targeting unsuspecting shoppers.
I had a discussion with Carina Thompson, Manager of Complex Claims at MUA, valuable insights were shared on managing risks during this period. Thompson provides essential tips that brokers can convey to their clients, ensuring a safer and more secure festive season.
Understanding Complex Claims – Delving into the realm of complex claims, Carina emphasises that not all claims are inherently complex. While high quantum claims exist, complexity can arise from various technicalities, especially in the legal portfolio, where Thompson oversees building-related claims. Her role involves navigating the nuances and grey areas that often accompany insurance claims.
Vigilance in the Festive Season – Carina, acknowledging the heightened risk during the festive season, urges individuals to remain vigilant despite the desire to unwind. Criminals exploit the season’s vulnerabilities, targeting homes left unattended as people embark on vacations. While awareness is higher than average, she emphasises the importance of paying attention to details. Simple actions, such as concealing valuables, not leaving items unattended, and staying aware of one’s surroundings, can significantly mitigate risks.
Trends and Risks During the Festive Season – Discussing the specific risks prevalent during the festive season, she notes an increase in criminal activity, driven by people’s holiday spending and the allure of newly purchased items. Criminals are well aware of the opportunities presented during this time, leading to a surge in incidents.
Home Security Measures:
To mitigate risks associated with leaving homes unattended, Carina recommends proactive risk management. Options such as hiring a house sitter or having a trusted neighbour check in can create the impression of an occupied home, deterring potential criminals. Additionally, routine activities like switching lights on and off contribute to the illusion of normalcy.
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MUA Insurance Acceptances (Pty) Ltd (Registration number 2008/011925/07) is an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP No.: 37947) underwriting on behalf of Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (Registration number 1973/016880/06), a licensed non-life insurer and financial services provider (FSP No.: 16354)
Road Safety Considerations:
Thompson extends her advice to road-related risks during the festive season. With increased traffic, the likelihood of accidents rises. Drivers are urged to be vigilant, considerate of others on the road, and ensure their vehicles are roadworthy. Carrying essential emergency contact information and being prepared for breakdowns contribute to safer road travel.
Weather-Related Risks – Carina highlights the importance of understanding policy details when it comes to weather-related events. Furthermore, unforeseen circumstances, such as driving a vehicle with a driver restriction, can lead to complications in insurance claims. Brokers are encouraged to communicate these technicalities to clients, fostering trust and preventing potential claim rejections.
As the festive season approaches, the key to a joyous celebration lies in proactive risk management. Carina Thompson’s insights underscore the importance of remaining vigilant, securing homes, and understanding the intricacies of insurance policies.
By adopting a preventative mindset and implementing these expert tips, individuals can navigate the Christmas shopping season with confidence, ensuring a safer and more secure holiday experience.