The holidays often mean trips to visit friends and family. You deserve to enjoy your time away, but you also need to prepare. Follow these handy tips to ensure you have peace of mind during your holiday travels.
Review Insurance Coverage
If you haven’t done an insurance review with your agent recently, now’s the time. Most homeowners buy new items or upgrade their homes from time to time. Plus the value of your house has probably risen so you need to realign your policy to match your current needs.
Definitely contact your agent if you’re taking a long vacation and leaving your property vacant. Most Rhode Island homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover a vacant home for more than 60 days, but most only allow 30.
Other considerations include sewer backup and flood insurance. Neither is part of a standard homeowner’s insurance package. However, your agent can add sewer backup to your existing policy and arrange flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Flooding and sewer backups can occur anywhere and at any time.
Install a Home Security System
Many insurers offer substantial discounts to homeowners if they install a home security system. The requirements vary by company, but with so many options available it’s worth investigating their value.
Many smart systems are very affordable and offer straightforward homeowner installation. For total peace of mind, a monitored system is your best bet, but it is also more expensive.
At the very least, install motion sensor flood lights in the darkest areas of your property, slap on a few alarm company stickers, and put an interior lamp or radio on a timer. A criminal will be less likely to enter your home if they think someone’s there and they’ll more likely to choose another home if they think you have a security system.
Disconnect Garage Door
A universal remote could be all a criminal needs to get into your garage and your home. Disengage the remote and manually lock the door instead.
Arrange for Maintenance
An unattended home is an open invitation to thieves. Hire someone to clear the walks or give a key to a friend or family member so they can care for your home while you’re away. They can take in the mail, water house plants, and check in periodically to ensure everything’s okay.
Arm them with an emergency contact list including your number while away and any contractors you prefer. Never leave a key hidden on your property.
Don’t Advertise Your Trip
People are often excited when it’s time to get away for the holidays. Consequently, they post about their upcoming trip on social media. While your friends might be trustworthy, they’re also connected to many others who you know absolutely nothing about.
Wait to post holiday photos when you return and keep your telephone number off your profiles to stay safe.
A small safe can store valuables, but a safety deposit box is preferable. If you own pricey jewelry, antiques, art, furs, computer, photography, or sporting equipment, or collections, let your insurance agent know. Homeowner’s policies often have low limits on these items but additional coverages can be purchased.