‘Tis the season to be jolly. But the busy Christmas period can often be distracting, leaving us vulnerable to disaster. Certain types of fire and injury associated with holiday decorating happen far more during this season than any other.
And as if the dent in your bank balance isn’t bad enough this month, imagine if you lost everything you had stashed under the tree for friends and family?
Bart Taylor, Head of Lantern Insurance, says under their Echelon policy customers are covered for Christmas presents that are stolen while being kept in the home*.
He said: “Leading up to Christmas is an extremely busy period, which at times can be stressful. So it’s nice to know that in the catastrophic event of a burglary in your home and your Christmas presents being stolen, you have peace of mind that you’re covered. However, if Santa is extra nice this year, check if any items are worth more than the limit specified in your policy and if that is the case, notify your insurer of their individual worth.”
Under the Echelon policy, wedding gifts are also covered. Lantern is part of IAG, which means if you’re an IAG customer, your contents policy will also include this cover. Bart added: “While it won’t remove the stress of it having happened in the first place, at least you know you won’t be out of pocket.” He also shared these handy hints to help you stay safe while setting up for Christmas:
• Set up the Christmas tree up well away from heat sources such as fireplaces, heaters, radiators etc.
• If you’re buying an artificial tree, choose one that is fire-retardant.
• Never use open flame sources such as candles as decorations.
• Select ornaments made from non-combustible materials.
• Live Christmas trees can become very dry and flammable in the summer heat so dispose of them promptly and safely.
Lights inside the home
• Before plugging in Christmas lights, check for potential faults like split or cracked wiring, bent plug prongs, faulty bulbs etc. Don’t use any that are faulty.
• Don’t overload extension cords and plug boards with multiple lights.
• Low voltage LED lights are safer and better for the environment.
• The NZ national grid is 240v – don’t use lights that aren’t suitable for the maximum.
• Last thing at night, turn off all lights.
Lights outside the home
• Only use lights suitable for exterior use with a transformer
• Clear hanging areas of combustible debris such as leaves, spiders webs etc
• Fasten lights securely to avoid wind damage
• Be aware of over head wires and hang Christmas lights well clear of them
• If you open your garden for people to look at your outside lights be mindful of your overall security and keep the house secure while you are in the garden.
*Please note the standard claims process applies for stolen Christmas or wedding presents under Lantern Echelon contents cover. For full details click here to download a copy of the Echelon Contents policy wording.