It may be time to take a winter vacation. Your family might be going to a ski resort, or escaping to warmer climates.
Before you head off on a winter trip, there are many things you need to do before simply packing your suitcase.
Your home will be empty while you are gone. That means that the home faces risks of damage, theft and vandalism at a higher rate than if you were at home.
Your home insurance will likely help you in the event that your home suffers a covered peril while you are away. However, it is your responsibility to take all necessary steps to protect your home. If you are negligent in protecting the home, the insurance company may deny you a claim.
Some of the ways you can protect your home for winter travel include:
- Keeping eyes on your house. Let a trusted neighbor or friend know that you are gone. That person can drop in or drive by your home to check on conditions while you are away.
- Having your mail and newspapers collected. The person watching your house should keep these items or place them inside the home for when you return. If criminals see accumulating mail or newspapers, they take this as a sign that a home is empty and then break in.
- Keeping your plans off social media. Posting your travel plans on social media lets people know that you are not at home. Even if you trust every one of your followers, you still have no guarantee that only they will see your plans. Prospective robbers often use social media to look for empty homes they can break into.
- Locking up. Before leaving, lock every entrance to your home. An entrance can be anything from the kitchen window to the front door. Arm your security systems. If you haven't armed the system, it may be enough for an insurance company to deny your claim. Secure valuables like electronics and jewelry in a safe or locked room.
- Turning off your utilities. Cut off your heating, gas, air and water systems when gone. This lowers your risk of burst pipes, floods, breakdowns and fires. Cutting off some or all the electricity can also reduce risks of malfunctions.
- Check the weather. If winter weather is forecast while you are gone, take steps to prepare the home. Make sure that your roof can accommodate significant snowfall. Salt your driveway to prevent freezing. Cut back any shrubbery that might fall in winter weather.
Always leave your contact information with a friend or neighbor. That person can reach you in case of emergencies.
By covering your home with the right home insurance, you can add protections if the worst happens while you are on vacation. The Beckman Company is here to help. Explore our online Oklahoma City home insurance offerings for more information. Please feel free to call us at (405) 842-2337 for more information.