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Keep surprises for your holiday...

...not for coming home.

Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the break. It’s entirely possible to have broken water pipes, burst hot water cylinders and power outages that cause headaches for homeowners.

Many Kiwis believe the biggest risk to their property is the theft of their belongings while they are on holiday, but AA Insurance data shows that home and contents claims for accidental damage and loss are far more common than you may expect.

One AA Insurance customer returned from holiday to find he’d accidentally turned the fridge/freezer off, defrosting $400 worth of food. His whiteware also had to be replaced because he couldn’t get rid of the smell of rotted food, which meant the total claim came to almost $2,000.

Another customer came home after two days away to find her fish tank had sprung a leak and caused almost $3,000 worth of damage to a wall and the floor, which had sagged.

Accidents like these can and do happen, so it’s reassuring to know that insurance will cover accidental loss or damage to your home and contents.

Top tips to keep your home in check while you’re away:

  1. Minimise the food in the fridge and freezer while you’re on holiday. That way, less will be lost if there’s a power cut.

  2. Check the fridge and freezer doors have been properly closed and the power is still on before you leave.

  3. Prevent leaks by turning off your water and gas. Alternatively, have someone stay at your house or drop in regularly. They won’t be able to stop a pipe leaking or bursting but they can deal with it sooner.

  4. Flick off any unused switches and unplug appliances to avoid damage from potential power surges.

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