Crime: Know how to protect yourself

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But sadly many of us fail to cover ourselves and possessions. And with crime being a reality in South Africa, you need to protect your home, and the people and things within it. In light of the recent increase in crime-related activities, I wanted to focus on the dos and don’ts of staying safe and how insurance can give you peace of mind.

Here are things you can do to keep safe: 

Get to know your neighbours. Being able to recognise who lives in your neighbourhood/complex goes a long way to helping you recognise a suspicious person in the area. In addition, get your kids well-acquainted with their surroundings.

Make an inventory of your possessions. 
Document serial numbers of all electronics and take pictures of all valuables. Keep them in a safe place to give to the police in the event you are robbed.

Identity theft is a real thing! Shred credit card offers and bank statements before you throw them away if you do not plan on using them.

Lock your front and back doors, do not assume. It’s worth investing in quality padlocks or security gates for each outside entrance. Install a peephole-viewer in your door.

Here is what you shouldn’t do

Do not leave door keys under mats or flower pots. If you think this is not a real concern, ask Paris Hilton about the key to her mansion that was left under a mat.
Never hide keys outside, such as under a bush or in a flowerpot.

Do not employ casual workers/contractors without a reference. Be sure all contractors you hire are licensed, bonded and insured.

Do not leave anything out in plain sight inside your car. Yes, even if the doors are locked, we all know they break through the windows to take your belongings. Therefore, don't give them a reason to target you.

Do not allow strangers on your premises or let someone in behind you if you live in an apartment building. If the building has a main entryway, make sure that security is enforced at the main door. Report residents who do this to your landlord or body corporate. Report suspicious behaviour to SAPS. 

Why insurance is important   
Consider all the things you work so hard for - your home, car, financial stability for your family. All of these can be at risk if you’re in an accident, burgled or held liable for injuries and damages. I know during hard times insurance becomes a non-essential but don't let your personal liability cover be an afterthought. This is a smart purchase, as it will protect you and your family. Get insurance that suits your pocket and make sure at the very minimum, you have the basics covered.