Before you leave for a vacation or business trip, you’re likely performing many tasks. Packing for one person can be stressful, let alone packing for two people, or a whole family. Before you check off your pre-travel to-do list, though, make sure that you perform a couple of extra tasks that will help to protect your home or apartment in case of an emergency.
Before You Leave:
Check your Home Inventory – Give yourself enough time before you leave to update your home inventory. Take off any items that you have gotten rid of, and add on any recent purchases that you have made. This will make it easy to document what you are missing if an emergency does occur.
Arm your Burglar Alarm – If your home is equipped with an alarm system, make sure that it is armed before you leave. Just in case, leave your pin number or password with a trusted neighbor, or a family member that lives nearby.
Set up Lights on Timers and Motion Detectors – One of the best way to deter potential thieves is to set up lights in your home that periodically turn on and off. You may also choose to set up outdoor motion detecting lights to further deter burglars.
Enlist a Neighbor’s Help – Another great tip for while you’re away is to get help from a neighbor. Have someone water your plants, feed your pets, and bring in your mail (but make sure that they don’t leave a huge pile of unopened mail in the line of sight of a window). Make sure that this person has your contact information so that they can alert you of an emergency situation.
Consider a “Vacation Check” – In some areas, you can inform your local police department that you are going on vacation. In this situation, an officer will occasionally drive by to check on your property while you are gone.
Review your Insurance Policy – Reacquaint yourself with your home or apartment’s insurance policy. Remind yourself of your coverage, and make any necessary updates. Also make sure that your agent’s email address and phone number are available to you while you’re away.
While You’re Away:
Give the Illusion of Occupation – If you have hired a neighbor to watch your property, ask them to help make your home appear occupied. They can do this by letting a radio or TV run for a few hours a day, and by moving a vehicle in and out of your driveway or parking space.
Be Available in Case of Emergency – Turning off your phone during a vacation is tempting, but cutting yourself off from the outside world has its potential downfalls. In case you have a break in, a burst pipe, or any of the other countless possible home calamities, ensure that you are available to receive an important call or email from your friends or neighbors.
If There is a Problem:
Take Immediate Action – If you have a problem that requires immediate action, like a leak, ensure that someone comes out to handle the situation as soon as possible. You can take care of a situation like this remotely with a few phone calls.
Contact your Insurance Agent – One more phone call that you must make is to your insurance agent. For Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency customers, that number is 877-550-0025. Talk to them about making a claim on your home insurance or renters insurance policy, and get the process started as soon as possible.