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Happy Santa – keep your presents safe!

The first rule of being a really successful Santa Claus is to make sure the right presents go to the right person! Ah, the problems loose parcel labels cause – especially when you have a few million to deal with! Other than all the nice people in the world who want to enjoy themselves, Christmas is a great time for thieves who know that cars, houses and suitcases are likely to provide rich pickings, so it is worth taking a few extra precautions – especially if you are travelling and taking your gifts with you.

Here is a little advice to help you keep your carefully chosen presents safe:

> Don't put expensive gifts in luggage that will be unattended – in an aircraft hold or a luggage rack on a train, for example
> Don't wrap presents – this is an advertisement and if luggage is security checked, the wrapping paper will probably be taken off anyway
> Check that food and plant products are allowed into the country which you are visiting – there are very strict rules on a range of products from meat to honey and many plant and wood materials which can all be confiscated and which will mean you need to do your Christmas shopping all over again
> Always carry valuable items in your hand luggage – but do check the weight allowance with your airline before you arrive at check-in
> Check the limits on valuable and other items on your travel insurance policy, as well as Christmas presents in transit in your car or stored at home
> Make sure that Christmas shopping and gifts are well concealed and securely locked if left in your car
> Be alert when you are in a public car park as to anyone acting suspiciously as they could be watching you put your shopping in the car with a view to removing it when you are not around
> Don't let outside Christmas lights entice burglars in by using an extension cable fed through a partially open window: opt for solar or battery powered lights instead
> Keep it under wraps! Draw curtains and blinds at night so you don't leave a present mountain on view
> If you can't get your rubbish to a recycling point, wait until the day your refuse is being collected before putting out boxes which contained valuable items such as cameras, laptops and televisions.
> Secure sheds and garages – scooters, garden equipment, bicycles and tools all make nice little gifts for burglars!

Mind your wallet, purse or handbag when you are out shopping for Christmas presents (and in the January sales too) – pickpockets are out in force and it takes just a second to remove these items from your grasp.

Hopefully, these tips will make the burglars' lives much harder. If something horrid does happen and you find yourself the victim of a burglary or theft, your contents insurance will probably cover you. However, if you have bought expensive items these may be excluded from your normal cover: it pays to be very clear where you stand with regard to all the extra items you buy at Christmas.

Make just one phone call to Westhill Insurance Services – our friendly team will be pleased to offer you advice as to how to deal effectively with your insurance needs. As an independent insurance company, we will shop around to find the best deal to provide you all the cover you need – at a price to suit your budget. With all the added expense that Christmas entails, someone looking after your wallet and your belongings seems like a very cosy idea! (If you are stuck for a Christmas gift for someone, think about giving them a year's vehicle breakdown cover– just ask when you call as we have a super package!)

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 20th December, 2012