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How to Protect your Home While Away This Winter

The snow will be arriving shortly and some of us like to retreat to a warmer climate. Whether you’re jetting off to a tropical destination or taking a skiing vacation, make sure your home is protected before you leave. Most insurers have requirements when leaving your home unoccupied for an extended period; no one wants to return from holidays to unforeseen damages or expenses. In order to minimize the chance of a loss and to ensure continuous insurance coverage here are a few tips to protect your property while you are enjoying your vacation:

What to do before you leave

  • Arrange to have a competent person enter the residence daily while you are away. (Check with your Insurance Advisor for the specific requirements of your carrier, as they may vary).
  • Ensure an adequate temperature is maintained, a low heat setting will prevent your water pipes from freezing, generally a temperature no lower than 55F or 13C is recommended.
  • You may also shut off the water supply; drain the pipes and domestic water containers.
  • Another option is to install a 24hour plumbing/heating monitoring alarm connected to a central station.
  • Ensure eave troughs are clear of debris

Although water losses are a leading cause of claims for property insurance – fire, theft and liability losses can also be minimized while your home is unoccupied.

How to make your house look occupied

  • Park a vehicle in the driveway
  • Install lights on a timer
  • For extended vacations, place newspaper subscriptions on hold or have a neighbor collect the mail.
  • Ensure all doors and windows are secured and locked, remove spare keys from obvious hiding spots (under door mats, in mailboxes)
  • Have your walkways, stairs, driveway and parked vehicles cleared of snow on a regular basis
  • Ensure the property is well lit – install outdoor lights on a sensor

Some claims or losses cannot be prevented, however you can minimize the severity of a loss significantly by being proactive. Always be sure to check with your Insurance Advisor for professional advice and on other ways to protect your home, auto or recreational vehicle. Interested in obtaining a property insurance quote? You can do so easily by calling us or requesting a quote online.

Have other suggestions? Please feel free to leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading!

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