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Lock up and plan ahead says AMI, as kiwis prepare for summer holidays

09 December 2021

It is important to plan ahead for a stress-free break this summer

As lockdown restrictions ease in time for summer and we reunite with family and friends across the country, AMI is reminding fellow kiwis of the importance of pre-planning for a stress-free break.

New Ipsos nation-wide research [1] from AMI shows that 56% of kiwis are planning a driving holiday this year, and of those, 63% expect to be travelling for 2-5 hours to reach their destination, with 19% between 6-10 hours.

But while kiwis may be eager to hit the road, many haven’t factored in proper break times for their trip, with only 47% saying they plan to take a break every two hours, and 9% every hour.

Before leaving home, AMI urges kiwis to make a plan.

“Checking for any planned roadworks or weather warnings, getting your car serviced, doing some general maintenance, and checking availability of rest stops along your route are important parts of a safe and stress-free drive,” says Alex Geale, AMI Executive General Manager, Distribution.

“Make sure your car, camper or caravan is in good working order. You should also check road conditions before setting off and even consider delaying your trip if the forecast shows a significant weather event. If you do get stuck in bad conditions, adjust your driving to remain safe by slowing down, turning on your headlights and leaving enough room between you and other drivers.

“It’s also possible that there will be Covid-related delays with road checks. Plan your trip, be patient, calm and polite to other drivers and officials.”

While the research showed that most of us will check tyre pressure (72%), water (64%) and oil levels (64%), far fewer of us will get our car serviced professionally (24%), map the route (49%) or check for road works or weather warnings (31%) before setting off.

And don’t overlook what you’re leaving behind either.

Before setting off on your holiday, AMI recommends taking action to ensure your home is safely secured.

“While it’s encouraging to see that only 3% of kiwis don’t lock their windows and doors when they leave home, there’s still a lot more we could be doing to help keep our homes safe and avoid any unfortunate events when we’re not there to keep an eye on things,” said Ms Geale.

“For added security, we recommend you look into putting your lights on timers, ensuring alarms are working well, and putting portable, valuable items, like jewellery or electronics, out of sight. Chat to your neighbours and ask them to keep an eye on your property while you’re gone. Small things they can do like regularly clearing the mail can help deter intruders.”

 Simple preventative measures like turning off appliances at the wall and, where practical, water off at the mains, can also help avoid the chance of returning home to the unexpected.

“Unfortunately, we do see instances of how quickly water can damage homes,” said Ms Geale. “For example, we had a recent case where a pipe burst when the homeowners were away just for a weekend. It was only noticed when the neighbour saw water coming out the front door and flowing down the driveway. By this time of course, the house was well and truly soaked.”

[1] Ipsos research commissioned by AMI Insurance, November 2021. Nationally representative survey of New Zealanders, total base size of n=1,003, and a margin of error of ±3.09.

How Kiwis prepare for an upcoming road trip (for those planning to take a road trip)

  • 72% check tyre pressure
  • 64% check water levels
  • 64% check oil levels
  • 49% map the route
  • 31% check for any planned roadworks or weather alerts before setting off
  • 24% get their car professionally serviced
  • 19% check where service stations / driver reviver stops are on the chosen route
  • 17% change windscreen wipers
  • 7% do ‘none of the above’

The security measures Kiwis put in place when they leave home

  • 67% secure all windows and doors
  • 51% ask a friend or neighbour to collect their mail
  • 37% unplug their appliances
  • 27% turn on motion-sensor security lights
  • 21% activate security cameras
  • 16% put their lights on timers
  • 16% set a burglar alarm (unmonitored)
  • 15% get a house-sitter
  • 12% have a front door camera
  • 11% set a burglar alarm (monitored)
  • 8% do not set any home security measures when leaving for a holiday

AMI’s advice to help keep yourself safe on a summer road trip:

  • Get a good night’s sleep before setting off. Getting eight hours’ sleep will mean you’re refreshed and in tip-top shape for a long road trip
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for the long trip ahead:
    • Get the car serviced
    • Check your tyres are pumped with the correct air pressure
    • Refuel
    • Top up your engine oil and coolant to optimal levels
    • Check all breaks and lights are working properly and the car battery’s connection is secure
  • Have an emergency kit handy, including a spare tyre, jack, tyre lever, pump and any other tools that will come in handy in case of a break down, including a basic first aid kit
  • Pack essential supplies such as food, water, tissues and in-car chargers
  • Store luggage safely
  • Restrain children and pets correctly
  • Choose the best travel route
  • Take regular breaks – if you’re travelling for more than two hours, take regular breaks to stretch your legs and reset your mind
  • Check weather conditions before setting off and plan accordingly, even delaying your plans if the forecast is for storms

AMI’s advice to help keep your home as safe as possible:

  • Secure your home effectively – install robust locks, alarm systems and motion-activated sensor lights, and don’t leave keys outside (even once) 
  • Cash and jewellery are some of the first things a burglar will look for. Ensuring cash, handbags and valuables are out of sight will reduce the temptation for a burglar to attempt entry 
  • Small electricals are still on the list of must-grabs, including laptops, phones and anything that can be sold on quickly. Keep small electricals out of sight where possible 
  • Keep car keys out of sight. As improved anti-theft technology makes cars increasingly harder to steal, thieves will look for the keys so they can drive away without drawing attention to themselves
  • When on holiday, use technology to create the illusion you are at home, such as: 
    • Timed lights, radios and TVs
    • Automated curtains or blinds
    • Automated doorbells that can be answered via an app
    • Have a neighbour remove mail, newspapers or flyers dropped at your home
  • Turn off all appliances before leaving home
  • Turn off water at the mains
  • Always ensure you have home contents insurance, so you are protected if the worst does happen. Check your existing policy is up-to-date and that you are adequately insured to cover the replacement of contents 

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