Holiday Home Safety: Precautionary measures

As much as we’d hate to be the Ebenezer Scrooge here, the truth is something almost always goes wrong over the festive seasons; For many homeowners, holiday season is crime season.It’s that time of year when the majority of us are busy, distracted, or traveling away from home. We often find that it is around the same time that there is an increase in road accidents and increase in drinking related incidents! So in spite of  all of the decorations, shopping, parties, and fun coming up with the holiday season, it’s also important to keep safe while also having fun.

Here’s what we recommend:

Don’t overshare on social media! As much as you would love to share your good fortune, be wary about how much you post on public social media pages. Don’t post that big flat screen TV you gifted yourself to give thieves an idea of what to shop for in your home, and if you’re off on holiday, try to limit your posts, too.  You do not want thieves working out that you’re not at home and strike when you’re away!

If you are planning to go out of town during the holiday season, be sure to notify a trusted neighbour so that they may keep an eye out on your home.

Keep valuables in a locked and secured safe
Most thieves tend to go straight to the main or master bedroom. Keeping your valuables in a safe that is secured to a wall or bolted to the floor can help ensure that the thieves leave empty handed – or at least without your more expensive or valuable possessions.

Install a home alarm system
Homes with visible cameras may be less likely to be targeted than those without. However, this is not a full-proof deterrent. You should also consider getting an alarm system. There are now new technologies available to alert you the moment someone steps into your house. You will be able to get instant warning even if you are away from home. Sensory lights outside the house can also help deter would-be thieves. You can contact a security company for more advice on safety tips.

Be careful with lights, candles & electrical appliances

Burglars aren’t the only threat to keeping your home safe over the Christmas period: the risk of fire goes up when your home is full of Christmas lights and candles. When you get your Christmas decorations out each year, check the lights for any frayed ends or cracks that could indicate that they’re not safe. Never leave candles burning unattended. And before you head off to your end of year party, don’t forget to double check that you’ve turned your straightener/curler and iron off!

 

Keep your business safe over the festive seasons with a fire & special perils comprehensive policy

One of the worst thing that can happen to a business owner over the festive seasons is to have their shop broken into and their inventory stolen. Actually, it’s one of the worse things that can happen at any time of the year, but in the spirit of Christmas, it makes it just that little bit more unpleasant!

With this in mind, we highly advise all business owners to ensure that their fire and special perils policy is up to date, or in the event of not having one, to purchase the policy. It order to avoid any confusion, please note that in the event of your business being burgled, you will only be covered under this policy if the plan you are on is a comprehensive one.

If you are in the the unfortunate position of having a burglary happen on your business premise, here is what we advise you to do:

Call the police
You will need the police report if you are going to file a claim with your insurance company.

Make an inventory
Make an inventory of everything that is missing, and where possible collect any evidence you have about the items that have been taken from your property. These could include receipts, valuations and even photographs.

Contact your bank
 Check to see if any financial documents have been stolen. If they have, you should inform the bank(s) you hold accounts with so they may monitor any suspicious account activities. Ensure that you can conduct business without worrying that the criminals will bankrupt you by freezing any accounts which you suspect have been targeted.

Contact your insurance company
Contact us! To make a valid claim, you need to have proof of forcible entry against your property and that your premises was properly secured. Remember to submit a police report alongside your claim, as well.

Pay us a visit or call us on 429 5000, or send an email to info@sacos.sc to purchase your business’ Comprehensive Fire & Special Perils Policy now, and enjoy a worry free festive season! 

Should I use my credit card for Christmas shopping?

Most people who get credit cards do so because they would love to have something to fall back on in case of emergencies. But let’s be honest: after the first couple of purchases its really easy to go overboard and get yourself into debt. I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point!

Before you decide whether or not you should put all those Christmas purchases on your credit card, here are a couple of things that are worth considering:

How close are you to your credit limit?

First and foremost, you need to know whether you can afford to use your card for these expenses without overdrawing on your account.

Consider the interest rate

Again, can you afford to rack up that amount of interest? For a lot of people, it’s the accumulating interest that makes it hard for them to pay off their outstanding balance.

Emergency protection. If you get too close to your credit limit buying Christmas presents, will you be able to use your card for emergency fund if a situation arises?   

The truth is a credit card make it a little too easy to spend money. If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to pretend like you’re not spending real money when you’re not paying with cash. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to fall into suffocating debt. It all comes down to being careful with your money. Missing payments, going over your credit limit, or having too many credit cards can quickly put you in financial debt!

For some people, credit cards can be destructive and getting caught up in the festivities can be detrimental to your financial health. However, as long as you can use your card wisely, there’s no reason why you can’t share your Christmas expenses between your debit AND your credit card!

Secured vs. unsecured loans, and why you should take out credit protection insurance.

When it comes to borrowing from a financial institution you will usually have two options: Secured or unsecured loan. But what is the difference, exactly?

Secured Loan

Usually for big ticket items, like a house or a vehicle, a secured loan comes with the assurance that you will provide the lender with some form of collateral — something that has monetary value equivalent to or greater than the amount you’re borrowing (like a mortgage) and the collateral acts as security for the lender. This protects them from loss if you fail to repay the loan.

How a Secured Loan works

As long as you keep continuing to repay your loan according to your agreement with the bank, you’ll get to keep your collateral (and build your credit at the same time). When you pay off the loan, the collateral is yours.

As a secured loan ensures the lender walks away with something of value even if you don’t repay the loan, secured loans tend to generally be considered lower risk, leading you to be eligible for borrowing larger sums at lower rates and better terms.

Unsecured Loan

Unlike secured loans, an unsecured loan isn’t attached to any collateral. Therefore the only assurance the lender has that you will repay the debt is your creditworthiness and your word. Common types of unsecured loans include personal loans and credit cards, where you essentially borrow and repay monthly.

As with a secured loan, when you take out an unsecured loan you and the lender agree to certain terms for repayment, including an interest rate and how long you’ll have to pay back the debt. However, because there’s no collateral for lenders to claim if you default, unsecured loans are considered higher risk for lenders. However, there are consequences to defaulting on an unsecured loan.

Whenever you fail to repay a debt, it affects your credit. The lending institution can take legal action against you to recoup some or all of the debt. In addition, late payments that are reported impact your credit negatively and future potential lenders will likely see that as a red flag before extending you credit.

Need an unsecured loan? Credit Life Protection was designed to accommodate all banks in Seychelles lending unsecured loans, in case of death and Total and Permanent Disability.

Prior to disbursement from the bank, you contact us for insurance and pay a one off premium that will cover your entire duration of your loan. In the event of your disability, accidental death, dismemberment, and critical illness, your insurance will pay the remainder of your loan amount due to the bank.

Have a secured loan? We’ve got you!

We also provide a Mortgage Life Insurance Plan that is designed to help pay off your mortgage upon your passing during the period of the policy, saving your loved ones from worrying about debts and financial burdens that was initially not their own

Whatever your needs we are more than happy to assist. Simply call us on 429 5000, send an email to info@sacos.sc, or complete your details on our request a quote and an officer will get back to you. 

Credit Insurance for your business; The smart choice!

If you’re a businessman, or the owner of a small business, or sole trader being unable to work and earn an income due to any illness or injury, this can cause major devastation to not just the financial position of your business, but also disrupt any loan repayments you may have going on.

Similar to a Mortgage Life Insurance, how it would work would be instead of covering a personal debt, such as a mortgage, your Credit Life Insurance could be used to protect your  business debt.

Dont forget, Credit Life Insurance was tailor-made to accommodate all banks in Seychelles lending unsecured loans, in case of death and Total and Permanent Disability. As a prerequisite, you have to take this plan prior to loan disbursement.

Here’s an example of how it could work:

Let’s say you take out a loan of SCR100,000 for personal use from your bank. Your bank will ask you to insure the value of the loan before disbursing the amount to you. You will then contact us for an insurance to provide coverage on this amount. The premium you will pay is one-off and it covers the entire duration of the loan. In the event of disability, accidental death, dismemberment, and critical illness, your insurance will pay the remainder of your loan amount due to the bank.

Be smart about how you handle your business, and think ahead.

Pay us a visit at our new location in town or call us on 429 5000 or send an email to info@sacos.sc for more information on our Credit Protection Insurance product.

Budget tips: How to get more for Christmas, for less!

Unless you’re a grinch, almost everyone loves Christmas! And what do most women love to do? That’s right: SHOPPING! But let’s face it, having to buy a lot of presents in one go can not only be stressful, but can make a pretty sizeable dent in your purse.

That’s where your budget can help! If you start organising your money now, you’ll know exactly how much you can spend on gifts for your favourite people, and you can stretch out your cash for longer!

Here’s what we recommend:

Start thinking of gift ideas now! Christmas time is one of the most lucrative time for businesses, and everyone is going to compete for your dough. If you make a list of things you want to buy now, the better your chances of finding it at a discounted price when you go shopping around; if it isn’t on sale at one place, it will most likely be on sale somewhere else at some point this season. The sooner you know what you want to buy for everyone, the sooner you can start looking for the best deal!

Make it yourself. Not only does it have more of a sentimental value and makes it more personal, but homemade gifts are a great way to maximise your giving without increasing your budget! Just don’t wait too long before you get started and end up having to make a last minute run to the shops!

Split up holiday costs. Most people don’t get their Christmas shopping done until December itself, but where possible try to knock a few things off your list early. Put a little extra money in your November budget to purchase little things, like Christmas cards, wrapping supplies, and the odd bits and pieces. This will leave you feeling a little less stressed by spreading out your costs and your to-dos!

Consider rearranging your budget. While great fun and festive, the end of the year tends to be one of the tightest financially for many of us. So if your budget’s starting to feel the strain, switch things up. If you normally spend quite a few on takeaways and eating out, make some sacrifices and bring your own lunch and cut down on the amount of times you go to restaurants, only until you’ve saved enough for your shopping list.

Prioritise! It seems like every time it comes to making a list of people you need to buy presents for, your brain keeps reminding you of every. single. person. you know. But let’s face it, you don’t need to, nor can you afford to buy presents for EVERYONE! And because the same holds true for other people, we’re sure your primary school teacher, or your local butcher will understand. You can always send a cute Christmas card to ease the sting, though!

Finally, track your spending! A budget doesn’t help if you don’t stick to it! You have to track your spending, and stick to what you have already planned! This will remove the anxiety of “Can I really afford to buy this?” or “Can I really afford to go there?” The last thing you need during the most wonderful time of the year is more stress!

OR… 

You can purchase our Mortgage Life Insurance Plan between the 18th October and the 18th December 2019, and pray you’re the lucky person to win a return ticket to Dubai where you can shop til you drop! (But the above recommendations would still apply though — especially then! ☺) 

Is life insurance a must for a single parent?

Absolutely! Life insurance is good for everyone! But even more so when you are a single parent who do the work of two people tirelessly. Single parents do not have the luxury of knowing for sure that their children will be taken care of if something were to happen to them, therefore it is important that you provide a safety net for you and your kids – life insurance – to make sure your children are taken care of if you aren’t around.

Our advice is to make sure that this is one of the first thing you take care of before planning for anything else. It may sound like too much of a hassle or too much of an expense, but let’s face it, it’s not. And it most definitely outweighs the cost your children will incur if they are left on their own with no safety blanket.

If you have gone through a divorce and your former partner is not paying for child support, then you know that putting the onus on your ex-spouse to provide the monetary safety net your children may not be the best idea.If you have suffered the death of your spouse, you know all too well how important life insurance is in a family’s financial plan.

So why not drop us an email at info@sacos.sc or pay us a visit at our branches (Maison Esplanade – Victoria, Pension Complex –Baie St. Anne Praslin, Green Corner –Providence)  or call us on 429 5000? A life insurance policy that adequately covers your needs is exactly what you need to give you much needed peace of mind and at Sacos we’re here for you.