As the summer sails by, your plans
may include travel to escape the heat or soak in the sun. Before you pack
your bags, you should evaluate your insurance risks and needs. These tips
from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) can help ensure sure you are protected while you enjoy your summer fun.
Whether you're leaving for a
weekend getaway or an extended vacation, be aware of what your homeowners or
renters policy will cover. Typically, your homeowners insurance will follow
you, protecting you even while you're not at home. Off-premises coverage
means your belongings are insured anywhere in the world. If you're staying at
a hotel and your belongings are stolen, your homeowners policy will provide
protection, but the exact coverage depends on your policy. In addition to
your deductible, expensive items such as jewelry will typically have a
replacement limit. Contact your agent to find out what's insured under your
Making your home a less enticing
target can discourage break-ins and may even lower your insurance premium.
- Install deadbolts on doors and windows. These can
slow a burglar and in some cases lead to an insurance discount.
- Invest in an alarm system or motion-activated camera.
Some alarm systems may result in an insurance discount.
Keep your home looking "lived
- Put interior lights on a timer or choose a few rooms
to remain lit to give the impression someone is home.
- Stop mail delivery or have a neighbor collect your
mail, newspapers and packages so they don't stack up outside.
- Hire someone to cut the grass if you'll be gone long
enough that growth will be noticeable.
- Leave a radio on and turn down your doorbell volume,
if possible. Some thieves ring the doorbell or knock to determine if
anyone is home. Having a loud radio playing and the doorbell muted
plants doubt in an intruder's mind.
- Have a car parked in your driveway. Another way to
make a home look lived in is to have cars coming and going from the
driveway throughout the day.
Protecting your home's contents is
also important. Give a spare key to a neighbor or friend to have access to
the home. Avoid putting the key under the mat, as thieves often check there.
Store important documents and expensive items in a lockbox, a safe or at
another location. Don't keep valuable documents in a personal desk or office
where burglars will know to look for them. Stow your computer out of sight to
discourage an intruder from trying to hack into your personal accounts.
Wait to Share on Social Media
Don't announce your trip in
advance except to trusted friends. Talking about an upcoming trip in public settings
or posting trip photos on social media while you are away lets potential
burglars know your home is empty. Wait until you are home to share the trip
highlights on social media.