How to Protect Your Home while You’re Away
Article revised on 6 June 2018
Plan to be away from home for several days? Here are a few tips that will help keep would-be burglars at bay during your absence and reduce your chances of making a home insurance claim when you return. You can then go on your vacation with peace of mind!
1- Ask someone you trust to visit your house frequently, just to make sure everything is fine. This person should have a set of your keys so he or she could open and close your curtains, turn on the lights, etc. He or she should also have the name and contact information of your insurer and your policy number.
Good to know:
During winter, having someone you trust come to your home each week will ensure you are covered in the event of freezing.
In fact, your home insurance may not cover damage caused by freezing if the home is unoccupied for several consecutive days. Can’t find anyone to visit your home while you’re away? Shut off the water supply and drain all the pipes and appliances before you go. And don’t forget to set the temperature at a comfortable level to avoid freezing.
2- If you are leaving your car behind, arrange for someone to move it from time to time. Otherwise, ask a neighbour to park in your driveway on occasion.
3- Have the outside of your home maintained.
Hire someone who will mow the lawn, pick up your mail, take out your trash or recycling bin when needed, move your car around from time to time, etc.
4- Make sure you don’t leave anything out on your property.
Put away your bikes, ladders, hazardous materials as well as all gardening or snow removal equipment away in your storage space or garage.
5- Store your valuables elsewhere than your If you can’t, hide them in safe places.
6- Close your windows properly and lock your doors. Use a bar to secure the patio door and sliding windows. Don’t forget to lock the shed and garage doors.
7- Install timers. Lights turning on and off regularly or the radio sounding off for several hours a day make it seem like someone is home.
8- Activate your alarm system. Notify your provider of your absence and give them the contact information of the person you are entrusting to watch your home.
9- Be careful of what you say and who you say it to. Thanks to social networks, news travels faster than ever and ill-intentioned people sometimes get wind of information. That’s why you should avoid posting about going away on social media, even if you’re excited about leaving. By announcing that you’ll be gone to everyone or by posting photos of you away on vacation, you’re inviting would-be burglars into your home.
You should also make no mention of your absence in your voicemail message.
In all cases, don’t forget to notify your insurer about your departure and check the details of your coverage.
Source: Quebec Safety League and the Insurance Bureau of Canada
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