2020 was quite the year. We hope you and your family are taking advantage of the warm summer months and are enjoying vacations together. Let our agency help you maintain your peace of mind that your home will be covered while you are gone. Your home is one of our most valuable possessions, and it can be gut-wrenching to go on a vacation and come back to find that something has gone wrong while you were away. Whether it’s a burglary or natural disaster, there are several things that can go wrong when you leave a home unattended for even a few days.
Insurance is a great tool to help you re-purchase items that have been stolen, or rebuild anything that may have been destroyed, but what’s even better than having to replace missing items is to prevent issues from arising in the first place. Here are several tips that you may find helpful for securing your home before you leave for a vacation. Remember—better safe than sorry!
Simple Tips to Secure Your Home:
- Become friends with your next-door neighbor. This is extremely effective and doesn’t cost anything! Your neighbor can be an incredible asset to you while you’re away. Whether it’s keeping an eye on the house to watch for any strange cars or visitors, picking up any packages or mail you may get, taking down any fliers hung on your door, or simply being able to respond if you need to call someone to check on your home, it’s very important.
- Secure the outside of your home. Close all your doors and windows and lock them, (including your garage door and the door between the garage and the house), arrange for a lawn-care service to mow your grass, put your outdoor lights on timers to illuminate walkways and entrances at night, disconnect your electric garage door opener, and padlock any gates and freestanding sheds if you can. Also, trim trees and bushes around the windows of the house to prevent hiding places for burglars, and also to prevent damage during storms or high wind.
- Secure the inside of your home. Close the blinds and drapes to prevent peering eyes from seeing inside. Try to make it appear that you’re still at home by putting your inside lights on a timer and schedule them to go on and off at random hours. Place them in different parts of the home—upstairs and downstairs, and in different bedrooms. Test the timers a couple of days before you leave to make sure they are working correctly. Also, lock up valuables in a safe deposit box, or consider buying a home safe.
- Secure your computers and electronics. Back-up all your computer hard drives and put those backups in a safe place. Then turn off all your computers and electronics. They’re just going to be draining energy when you’re gone anyway.
- Get a home alarm system. In addition to the benefit that most insurance companies will give you a discount on your homeowner’s insurance policy if you have a home alarm system, it can also help respond to break-ins when you’re not there. Just make sure to notify your alarm company that you will be away and give them your cell phone number, as well as your neighbor’s.
- Have some type of home inventory. Videotape and photograph each room in your home. Make sure to open all closet doors and dresser drawers, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, etc. If you ever need to file a claim, an insurance adjuster will need to see what was inside the closets and cabinets. Take close-up pictures of product information on your electronics, computers, guns, and other high-dollar valuables. Take a lot of photos of each room at different angles. Don’t forget the garage and storage areas of your home. Again, make sure to photograph everything—even things inside boxes and cabinets. For example, if you have a toolbox that was stolen or damaged, your insurance adjustors will need to see not just the toolbox but the tools inside. List the brands and types of items inside. Keep receipts for items that you’ve purchased, and get your jewelry appraised. With the price of gold as high as it is, you may be surprised that your jewelry is actually much more valuable than you expected. Keep a copy of all these photos, videos, receipts, and appraisals in a safe-deposit box.
We hope you’ll never need to file a claim for stolen or damaged items, but we realize that’s not always realistic. So taking these precautions will not only help prevent issues from happening, but they can also make the process much easier if you do have to file a claim when you return. Call our office if you have any questions about your policies or would like to make changes. (719)593-9916
So grab your suitcases for the family adventures, and make sure your home is safe and secure!