Are you one of the lucky ones going on vacation shortly? Although there is great anticipation for an upcoming holiday, don’t forget to consider your home. An unoccupied home is at greater risk of damage and more susceptible to theft. While you’re away, you can reduce the risk – and save some money – by following these simple tips:
• Consider turning off the water. A ruptured pipe can do a lot of damage in very little time.
• Turn down the heat to room temperature or install a programmable thermostat.
• Minimize the amount of perishable food in your refrigerator and freezer. If they break down, or if there’s an extended power outage, you’ll be happy you did.
• If you have a home alarm system, let the alarm company know when you’ll be away and ensure that your call list is up-to-date.
• Do not notify your social media networks of your upcoming holiday.
• Arrange to have someone check your home regularly, epsecially if you will be away for more than three days. This is a requirement for insurance and ensures your home insurance policy remains valid. During the winter season, have someone visit your home at least once a day to ensure the heating system is working, the pipes in your home are not frozen, or to check if there is no other damage. Water damage due to freezing pipes would not be covered if you have been away from your home and did not make arrangements for someone to check on it.
• Provide your contact number in case of emergency.
Unoccupied homes are also a prime target for thieves and vandals. Here’s how to make your home look ‘more lived in’ while you are away:
• Have someone check your place regularly.
• If you live in a house, make arrangements to have the snow shoveled when necessary.
• Ask a neighbour to pick up mail and newspapers, or stop mail and paper delivery altogether.
• Set up timers on lights, both inside and out.
• Secure your yard or outdoor shed by padlocking them.
• Let a neighbour know where you’re going, when you’ll return and how to reach you. Ask them to call if they notice anything strange.
If you have concerns about your home insurance coverage while on vacation, contact your local BrokerLink broker. We’ll explain whether your policy requires changes and can make suggestions for how to best protect your home so you can kick back and enjoy a worry-free vacation.
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