Chicago November 28, 2006 – For most people, the holidays are a time to shop and spend, travel and revel. It is also easy to be distracted, or worse, a victim, putting yourself, your finances, and your family at risk.
“There are a few simple steps everyone can take around the holidays to protect themselves from theft, liability, property damage or injury,” says James Kane, president of HUB International Personal Insurance. “You want to limit your exposure where you can and cover those exposures you cannot control with appropriate coverage.”
Holiday Parties. Be prepared to provide alternative transportation if party guests become intoxicated. This will protect you, as the host, and it will protect your guests from harming others on road. Secure sentimental and costly items to protect them from accidental damage by party-goers. When hosting catered parties, be sure to select providers that are bonded and insured. This will protect you from breakage, damage or theft caused by catering company employees.
Expensive gifts. Find out – before you gift them – if high-dollar holiday items such as jewelry, furs, antiques and artwork, are covered under your homeowners or renters policy. Rule of thumb: if it is expensive to purchase, you do not want to take the chance of losing it to events you cannot control like theft, damage or disaster.
Traveling Abroad. If you will be vacationing outside of the U.S., consider medical insurance that will provide MEDEVAC or consultative services regarding selection of hospitals and notification of the embassy, in the event of personal injury or illness.
Vacation Smart. If you are visiting an area you do not know well, contact your concierge to identify areas you should avoid. Additionally, do not carry large sums of cash. Instead, opt for travelers checks or credit cards, which are much easier to replace. And, if you are traveling with valuables, be sure to lock them in the cruise ship or hotel safe.
Make it Look Like Somebody Is Home. While traveling during the holidays, hold the mail and newspapers, leave lights on a timer, and have the lawn and yard work kept up in your absence to give the impression that the house is occupied.
Prying Eyes. When shopping online, only make purchases through encrypted Internet connections so your personal information does not become available to a host of Internet thieves. Protect receipts and your purse or wallet at all times. Also, when standing in check-out or ATM lines be cognizant of others behind you who may be trying to catch a glimpse of your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
By taking these simple precautions, you will minimize the chance that you or someone you love will be victimized by theft, property damage or physical harm.
About HUB International Personal Insurance:
HUB International Personal Insurance is part of Chicago-based Hub International Limited (HBG: NYSE/TSX), a leading North American insurance brokerage that provides a broad array of property and casualty, reinsurance, life and health, employee benefits, investment and risk management products and services through offices located in the United States and Canada. www.hubinternational.com