Whether you’re on vacation, in the process of selling a home you’ve moved out of, or absent due to a hospital stay, you probably assume your home insurance policy will have you covered should anything happen. Depending on your policy this may not be the case.
Here are some steps you can take to not only secure your home against theft, vandalism and damage, but also maintain your insurance coverage.
No matter how long you are away from your home, it’s always a good idea to arrange for a trusted house sitter, or a friend or neighbour to stop by on a daily basis. Not only will this step give you peace of mind, it will prevent any issues from escalating beyond simple repair. They can make sure that everything is secure and running smoothly.
Put a stop delivery on your mail or have someone collect it regularly. Have a neighbour remove your garbage and recycling bins from the curb. Hire a student or firm to cut your grass or plow your driveway. Put your outside lights and some indoor lamps on timers. Make sure all windows and doors are locked and secured.
Since no one can predict the weather, it’s a good idea to assume that a cold snap in Canada can set in when least expected. A helpful tip is to set your furnace temperature to at least 15-degrees Celsius between September and June.
Adding this extra layer of protection will help deter any would-be thieves. Many alarm systems also have options for low-temperature sensors to alert you in the event your furnace stops working. Which is a handy feature for snowbirds. Not only will an alarm system decrease your risk, it can also help lower your premiums.
Creating the illusion of an occupied home is critical to protect your vacant property. While the house may be empty of most furniture and lighting, it’s wise to leave behind a few items to give it a lived-in appearance. Blinds in the living room along with a lamp on a timer will go a long way. It might even be worth turning off and draining all the water lines to prevent any potential water damage.
Following the steps listed above for unoccupied houses (daily checks, etc.) will help further protect your house from damages.
Homeowners insurance is a must, but if you don’t have appropriate coverage for your particular situation, the policy won’t work in your favour. That’s what our account managers are trained to do; we can work closely with you to determine the best coverage for your unoccupied or vacant (or somewhere in between) house. It’s important to understand your policy and its limitations. Learn what options are available and the best way to safeguard your house. Newman Insurance can help.