If you’re planning to go on vacation, travel insurance protects you from many of the unexpected costs you can incur during a trip. While homeowners insurance protects your home no matter where you are, there are some simple things you can do to protect your home while you are away. Calgary residents can protect their homes by taking some simple precautions before leaving town. Bow Valley Insurance are pleased to provide the following tips on home protection.
Home Protection: Tips for Using Social Media
In the age of social media, we stay connected to friends and family to share important information about our lives. However, when we plan a trip, social media is one of the ways we can inadvertently place our homes at risk. If you or your family use social media, remember to check your privacy settings and make sure you’re using them correctly — don’t let strangers view anything you don’t want them to see!
Especially during the days just prior to departure, consider the following tips for your social media use:
- Refrain from updating any of your social media statuses while you’re away and never Tweet the dates you’ll be gone.
- Be cautious when you use the “check-in” feature on Facebook and be careful not to use apps that share your location (Many of the new apps are persistent and unless you pause them or turn them off, they will continue to broadcast your location — in many cases to people you don’t know).
- Carefully monitor what your children are posting. Tweets such as “My parents will be gone all weekend,” are advertisements for thieves.
- We all like to share our newest purchases with our friends and family, but it’s a good idea to refrain from posting photos of that expensive item you just bought! Also, do not post photos of your vacation until you are home safe and sound.
- Never post anything on social media that indicates your home is temporarily insecure, such as when you get new doors or windows installed.
Tips on Exterior Door Security
More than 50 per cent of burglaries occur without forced entry. It’s crucial to secure all exterior doors and if you’ve loaned your house key out several times, it’s a good idea to replace your locks. Secure all exterior doors with deadbolts with at least one-inch throwbolts and remember to check all your doors (and windows) the night before your leave.
Other Tips on Protecting Your Home While You’re Away
A fully packed car serves as a green light for a burglar. If you can’t keep your car completely out of sight, load it the morning you leave rather than the night before. While you’re away, making your home appear lived in will discourage a thief.
The following tips will help your home appear occupied even when you’re not there:
- Have your mail held by the postal service
- Ask a friend or neighbor to park the car they use everyday in your driveway. A thief will notice the vehicle has changed positions.
- Have a neighbor check your front door for flyers as thieves often plant coupons or flyers on a house they believe is vacant and then wait to see if they get removed.
- Turn the ringer and volume on your home phone on silent so someone standing outside can’t hear your outgoing message.
In addition, if you are going to be away from your premises for more than 4 consecutive days, you must arrange for a competent person to enter your home each day you are away to check on your home and ensure your heating is being maintained. Or, alternatively, you need to shut off the main water supply and drain the pipes in your home before leaving on your trip. Something else you should do is have your plumbing and heating system connected to a monitored alarm station providing 24 hour service to ensure they are both functioning properly.
Home Insurance Calgary: Discounts for Protecting Your Home
Installing safety devices and alarm systems are common ways to qualify for a discount on your home insurance. Calgary residents should speak with their broker to find out more. Many other discounts are available, too, so be sure to ask your home insurance brokers if you qualify for the following:
- Claims free
- New home
- Mortgage free
- Stability of residence
Bow Valley Insurance: Your Calgary Home Insurance Brokers!
Please contact us if you have any questions about home insurance, home security, or any of the discounts we offer. Request a free online home insurance quote and we’ll make sure you receive all the discounts you deserve!
*Certain terms and conditions may apply, so speak with an insurance specialist if you have any questions.