South African Insurance Association

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Holiday Makers urged to be streetwise on crime- SAIA

Media Release

(For Immediate release)

17 April 2014 


Holiday Makers urged to be streetwise on crime – SAIA

The South African Short-Term Insurance Association (SAIA) has called on holiday makers to be on the look out over the Easter holidays when people tend to let their guard down. More and more holiday makers are becoming victims of crime at their holiday destinations due to the fact that criminals prey on more relaxed and often unaware tourists.

“Criminals tend to follow opportunities in terms of people and places and in some cases this does not only occur with house burglaries but when people are on their holiday. The SAIA is actively involved on various levels with stakeholders in the law enforcement community through the South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB) to address crime related activity affecting the Short-term Insurance industry,” says Viviene Pearson, SAIA General Manager:  Insurance Risks.

The SAIA urges consumers to be on high alert about the following types of crimes that occur and to which unsuspecting tourists may become victim:

  • Holiday muggings and theft

  • Car jamming devices,  (used mainly at petrol stations and in parking lots at shopping centres)

  • Burglaries on holidays

  • House robberies while away from home

The SAICB has also said the following “The SAICB has a number of active projects that benefit all South Africans and by default this includes the insured community.  We anticipate an increase in requests for assistance over the holiday period and will work closely with the SAPS to reduce the impact of crime.  In mDirector.any instances though, the crimes can be averted through active awareness,” says Michiel Nel, SAICB:  Executive Director.

The SAIA has shared the following insurance tips to consumers:

  • Ensure that your policies covering the building and contents of your home as well as your motor vehicles are up to date and that the premiums are fully paid.

  • Items such as cell phones, laptops and cameras etc. must be specified with your insurer.

  • Ensure that your vehicle is in a road worthy condition before leaving on holiday.

  • Advise the South African Police Services in your area as well as your security company when and for how long you will be away and who they can contact in your absence.

  • Before leaving on holiday cancel delivery of newspapers and other commodities.

  • Arrange for someone to collect your post regularly and to inspect the premises at various intervals while you are away.

  • This person should also know where the stop-clock for the geyser or water supply is, in case something goes wrong whilst you are away. A burst geyser can cause serious damage to the dwelling and contents.

  •  Similarly they should also know where the electrical supply trip switches are to restore the power due to possible accidental failure. They should also check if the fridge and freezer are still on and operating normally, as a long interruption can cause damage to the appliance and/or contents.

  • Make sure that someone, (a friend or family member) knows where to contact you in case of an emergency.

  • Never drink and drive. Honour all traffic laws.

  • Ensure that all occupants of your vehicle are buckled-up.

  • When travelling on holiday make sure that you take regular breaks to avoid driving whilst tired or fatigued.

  • When stopping along the way at petrol stations etc. and when leaving your vehicle always physically check that your vehicle is locked to prevent culprits from jamming the lock of your vehicle and thereby gaining easy access to stealing your immovable property and valuables.

  • When arriving at your destination remain vigilant because crime is happening everywhere and is not restricted to where you live permanently.

  • Apply the same safety precautions which you would apply at home by inter alia locking all doors and windows and always be on the lookout for suspicious characters.

  • Make sure that you have access to all the local emergency services contact numbers.

  • Never go walking alone in badly lit areas or on deserted beaches.  Stay safe.

  • Never carry a lot of cash or expensive jewellery on you, especially whilst on holiday.

  • Be vigilant when using Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in places and areas which you are not familiar with.

It is important for consumers to be on alert during the holidays and to share these key tips with friends and family. The SAIA wishes consumers a safe and happy holiday and if you are driving please drive safely.



Issued by the South African Insurance Association (SAIA)

For more information please contact:

Claire Norman

Manager:       Communication

Telephone:    +27 11 726 5381


About the SAIA

The SAIA is the voice of the short-term insurance industry. It represents the industry at all levels and with all stakeholders, to ensure a sustainable and dynamic short-term industry for the benefit of all South Africans. The SAIA represents most of the short-term insurance companies in South Africa and is authorised to negotiate on their behalf. The Association has 60 members who abide by the SAIA code of conduct. The SAIA also participates and is represented in various organisations within and outside the insurance industry.