With winter coming, many Canadians are preparing for a well-deserved break. Wherever you're heading, gain some added peace of mind while you're away by taking a few extra steps to protect your residence while you're away.
“Preparing for your vacation should start at home, by taking a few precautions before leaving,” says Henry Blumenthal, Chief Underwriter, TD Insurance. “Take a few moments and protect yourself from coming back to an unwelcome surprise.”
TD Insurance offers the following advice to those heading some place warm (or colder) this winter:
Get professional help: The most effective deterrent for burglars is a security alarm system. Although alarms require an upfront investment, you can often take advantage of lower home insurance premiums if your home is equipped with one.
Empty residence = easy target: Burglars are less likely to break into your home if it looks occupied. To give the appearance of the “lived in” look, try things like asking a neighbour to help shovel snow, using a timer to switch lights on/off, and having your newspapers and mail held.
Make it a challenge: Before you leave, make sure you lock your doors, windows and garage. It sounds simple, but studies show that burglars usually spend under a minute breaking into a home. Anything you do to increase the time it takes to break in may cause intruders to change their mind.
Prevent serious water loss: Shut off your main water valve if you're going for a long trip. It'll also help prevent your pipes from freezing.
“It's a good idea to know what valuables you have – just in case you have to make an insurance claim,” adds Blumenthal.
It's also a good idea to let your insurance company know if you plan to be away for a long time – if the residence is unoccupied for a while, damages might not be covered.
Additional tips and information about home insurance are available online at www.tdinsurance.com or toll-free at 1-888-788-0839.