You know that saying about teaching your grandmother to suck eggs? I thought so. It would appear that when it comes to home content insurance we are all borderline village idiots to the companies trying to flog us something. A bit like when you when you go for a run (remember to tie your shoelaces), ride a bike on the road (wear a helmet and visible clothing) or drive a car (seatbelt please). You feel like they are stating the obvious and adopt a no-thanks-very-much-I-know-what-I-am-doing approach, similar to the one you assume when accosted by the people collecting money for charities in the street when you suddenly remember you are in a hurry for a meeting you never knew about.
However, notwithstanding the above, some valid pointers about going away on holiday and ensuring your house is safe during your absence were of particular relevance in light of our recent family holiday. Especially as the LCM household waits until the 11th hour to pack bags, and relies on a variety of lists to ensure nothing is omitted. Which counts for little as we typically endeavour to leave behind certain essentials and then have to replete stocks at our destination at some cost. What can I say? Plus ça change. At least we are consistent.
So here's the checklist to ensure a worry-free holiday:
- Cancel deliveries eg milk, papers, etc - √ (check)
- Ensure the windows and doors are locked and curtains drawn (within reason – you hardly want to give an impression that a hermit has moved in during your absence) - √ (check)
- Leave a light or two on, or better still get some timer switches (more importantly, check they have new batteries, otherwise who are you kidding?) - √ (check)
- Give a set of keys to the neighbours – provided you are on speaking terms with them and they are not still holding a grudge about that all-night party you had last year to which they were not invited – and ask whether they would pop round occasionally and pick up the mail - √ (check)
- Have a set of numbers people can reach you on should the occasion warrant it (this does not include your best mate calling to tell you the footie scores, nor the latest happenings on Eastenders) - √ (check)
- Ensure you switch off or unplug all non-essential electrical items (TV, computer, hi-fi, etc) - √ (check)
- Put your valuables away in a safe place (on an aside here, I have been told of two that rank highest: 1) the dirty laundry basket, preferably complete with soiled children's clothes, and 2) the drawer containing sanitary items, apparently a challenge for any male at the best of times, and yes I know I am making assumptions here) – ermmmm, check, sort of
Why the hesitancy on the last point? Well, the last trip we made I hid the valuables so well I am yet to find them.
Either that or the neighbours were still peeved and are taking the piss by hiding them elsewhere for me.