The cold air is drawing in, the mountains across Europe are wrapping themselves in a thick blanket of snow, and your local outdoors store are busy introducing a new range of poles, protective clothing and all manner of other winter goodies.
This of course, can only mean one thing: the official start of ski season is fast approaching.
For many avid skiers, those long, chilly nights as autumn gradually gives way to winter provide the perfect opportunity to knuckle down and go through those final preparations for our upcoming adventures on the slopes.
We’ll make sure the equipment is in good, solid working order, we’ll double check that all travel and accommodation is properly booked and, naturally, we’ll be looking at those health and medical insurance policies to ensure that we’ll be fully covered should the worst happen.
Yet whilst many of us would no more hit the slopes without medical insurance than we would without a set of skis, it seems there’s still a sizeable number of holidaymakers who’ll head off abroad without ensuring their prized possessions are well protected too.
In May 2015, a study carried out by market intelligence firm Datamonitor revealed that as much as 75% of high net worth individuals were under-insured.
If reading that last paragraph had you gasping with the dreaded realization that you’re one of those people who isn’t currently taking steps to secure your possessions when you hit the slopes, worry not.
Here’s just a few pointers on how to keep your valuables safe when travelling abroad this ski season.
Take out protection
As a seasoned skier, you don’t need us to tell you about the importance of protection. You’ve already invested in that state-of-the-art protective attire, and you smiled with a certain smugness when we mentioned medical insurance earlier.
Still, with your health well accounted for, now’s the time to look at whether your home and contents insurance are up-to-date, ensuring that at least you’re in good hands should your valuable property fall into the wrong ones.
If your existing policy doesn’t provide adequate coverage for those priceless possessions you’ve purchased since the last time your insurer came calling, now might be a good to look at investing in high value home insurance: a specialised, more comprehensive plan designed for those whose property and/or its contents are of much greater value than your typical high-street insurer can accommodate
Don’t advertise that you’re not home
It goes without saying that you’re excited to finally celebrate the start of ski season with a trip to your favourite resort, so much so that nobody could really blame you for wanting to shout it from the rooftops. Still, though we might not blame you, we certainly don’t recommend it.
In this day and age of open information and social media, it’s all too easy to broadcast your exact location to the entire world.
Even if all of your Facebook or Twitter settings are set to maximum privacy, your latest check-in at a ski resort thousands of miles away from home could still leave you vulnerable if there’s a security breach.
So whilst you may feel like you’re doing nothing more than telling a few close friends that you finally made it on holiday, what you’re effectively doing is telling those with less-than-scrupulous intentions that your home is currently unoccupied.
Keep yourself safe, save the Facebook statuses until you return home.
Consider a caretaker
You may only be off on the slopes for a few short weeks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from having somebody keep an eye on your home whilst you’re away.
We’re not saying you need to go out and hire a professional security team to stand guard; simply having somebody you trust come by and house sit for a few weeks can do the job just as well.
Take your most important possessions “off site”
If convincing – or paying – somebody to house sit for a few weeks isn’t possible, then at the very least consider moving those priceless heirlooms, valuable pieces of artwork and other treasured possessions out of your home for the duration of your stay.
Whether that’s by rehoming them with friends or family, or investing in secure storage somewhere outside of your property is up to you, but it’s certainly worth it so that you can really enjoy the start of ski season with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your valuables as well protected no matter what may happen.