Make sure you check your vacation insurance checklist at least twice

  • Jeff Zander is the CEO of Zander Insurance Group, based in Nashville.

This is the most wonderful time of year – until something unexpected happens. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, there is an increase in theft and personal theft of about 20% in December.

We all know that escalating stress, the increase in the number of vehicles on the road, drunk driving, inclement weather and traffic collisions all increase dramatically during vacations. Crime and accidents can be a major drag on the festivities, and unfortunately you can’t control the decisions of others.

To ease the potential burden of these transgressions and ensure a happy holiday season, Nashvillians should take a moment in their busy lives to review a few of their insurance policies.

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Identity theft insurance policy

Personal crimes aren’t the only thing on the rise at the end of the year. As the pandemic has led more and more people to opt for online shopping, the risks of cybersecurity and identity theft attempts have also increased.

Any Google search can take you to a fake website that looks like your favorite store or has the product you are looking for, but once you enter your credit card information to make a purchase, the items are never books.

When shopping for Christmas gifts online, be sure to carefully inspect website logos and URLs to make sure you are buying from legitimate sites. To prevent other types of phishing scams, set up multi-factor authentication and bank alerts.

Avoid opening suspicious emails and avoid clicking on unfamiliar links. In some cases, stolen credit card information goes all the way, which is relatively easy to correct by reporting the fraud and getting a new card. However, it could very easily get worse.

Online shopping opens the door for hackers, who can access private data on websites to take your date of birth, social security number, and other personal information. At this point, they can sell the information on the dark web, use it to make unauthorized purchases with your card, open other financial accounts using your identity, and more.

This is why it is crucial to have an identity theft protection plan in place. When selecting a plan, be sure to choose one that includes restore and recovery services.

With this feature, a recovery advocate can work with you to report identity theft to all parties involved and help restore your identity to its pre-theft state in a much faster timeframe, helping you saves time, money and unnecessary stress.

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Home Insurance

Risks to homeowners increase during vacations due to vacation decor, break-ins and accidents associated with hosting events.

To mitigate decorating incidents like a fire from a dry Christmas tree, make sure you keep your tree sufficiently watered, check all your electrical cables, and be extremely careful when hanging lights around your home.

As much as vacations can make your interior Griswold pop, you should also minimize the use of extension cords in and around the house. Burglars are another major cause of property damage or loss while on vacation.

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While break-ins are not always preventable, you should consider investing in an alarm system, timed lights, or security cameras to best protect your home. Check that your home coverage has limits high enough that any new special purchases are covered in the event of theft. Installing an alarm system can also allow you to benefit from a reduction on your home insurance policy.

While I know we all look forward to meeting in person again, accommodation can come with increased risks including cooking incidents, weather-related slips and falls, and injury from pets. hostile (or simply enthusiastic). Before you get in the holiday mood with friends and neighbors, check your policy for your current liability insurance limits.

In most cases, the coverage you already have will be sufficient for standard gatherings, but your agent can help you determine if increased coverage or an umbrella policy would be beneficial.

Car insurance

The weather outside is appalling, and when paired with heavy traffic, vehicle break-ins and irresponsible drivers, driving while on vacation can be a recipe for disaster.

Jeff Zander, CEO of Zander Insurance

To stay as safe as possible, you should always keep emergency supplies in your car: a shovel, a few blankets, and a portable battery charger, in case you find yourself in a precarious situation. Remember to do your part, slow down and drive responsibly, especially when traveling in bad weather.

To best protect yourself from theft, keep all your shopping bags and gifts hidden when you leave your car. If your car is broken into, most auto insurance policies will only cover what is considered part of the vehicle, while most home insurance policies will cover stolen items.

Check your policy limits before you leave the aisle, especially if you are purchasing expensive freebies that may cost more than your coverage limit for theft out of your vehicle. While not all incidents are preventable, this insurance checklist and your agent will help mitigate risk and ensure you have a great and memorable vacation.

Jeff Zander has over 40 years of experience in the insurance industry and specializes in all areas of personal, business and employee benefits programs. Nashville-based Zander Insurance Group was founded nearly 100 years ago by his great-grandfather Herman Zander, and Jeff is the CEO of this fourth-generation family business.


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