Now that the craziness of the Holiday's are behind us, I find myself thinking about planning a well deserved relaxing Vacation in 2014. So the planning starts: need to select a destination, book a hotel and get our airline tickets. Along with planning the details of your vacation you need to add "Protecting Your Home" to your list!! The last thing you want to worry about before you head off on vacation is a break-in! Unfortunately, an empty home is an easy target for burglars. Taking the time to make your home less inviting to burglars may help prevent theft or damage while you're away.
Below I have listed some tips you can do to make your home look occupied. You may be able to deter criminals by taking the following precautions.
- Stop all mail and newspaper deliveries, or ask a trusted neighbor to collect them for you.
- Lower the ring on your phone and turn down the volume on your answering machine, so it cannot be heard outside.
- Leave shades, blinds, or curtains in their regular positions.
- Move valuables away from windows so they cannot be seen.
- Store jewelry and other valuables in a safe deposit box.
- Trim the shrubs and large trees so trespassers have fewer spots to hide.
- Leave a locked vehicle in your driveway, or ask a neighbor to park there.
- Connect your light switches and a radio to an automatic timer to give the appearance that someone is home.
- Install motion-detecting flood-lights for your yard.
- Ask a neighbor to put out your garbage and mow your lawn.
- Make sure all windows and doors are locked.
- If you have a sliding glass door, put a steel or wooden rod in the door channel.
- Consider installing an alarm system that directly alerts a monitoring service or police station.
- If a alarm system is too expensive, simply sticking an alarm decal in a visible location.
- Do not leave a spare key under a doormat, potted plant, or a rock. These are well-known hiding places.
- Avoid broadcasting your vacation plans via social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Burglars who break into homes may be after more than your valuable items, they may also steal your identity. It is important to protect yourself against both a physical and a virtual break-in's.
- Turn off your computer and disconnect it from the internet so a hacker cannot access your personal information.
- Lock up your personal laptops, iPads, iPods and any other electronic devices that may contain personal information.
- Do not leave personal documents in your home office or desk. A Burglar can easily obtain credit card information, social security numbers or other identification by going over personal documents or by stealing the family computer.
- Have your mail forwarded or held by the post office.
Insurance is available for identity theft, providing reimbursement to victims for the cost of restoring their identity and repairing credit reports. Some companies include it as part of their homeowners insurance policy. Others sell it as a stand-alone policy or as an endorsement to a homeowners or renters insurance policy.
Standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for theft of personal possessions and damage to the home caused by the break-in. With replacement cost coverage, which is only about 10 percent more than actual cash value coverage, damaged property is replaced without deducting for depreciation.
In addition to having the right insurance coverage, the I.I.I. offers more preventative measures to keep your home and identity safe. Check out the full articles by clicking the links below:
Remember before you leave for a vacation, take the right precautions to make your home and identity as burglar-proof as possible. Your trip may be much more relaxing and enjoyable if you know your home is safe while you are away! And as always, if you have any questions please feel free to give our office a call at 978-352-8000 or email info [at] georgetowninsurance [dot] com
Be well, be safe and enjoy all that 2014 has to offer!
Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.com