3 Ways to Protect Your Home While Away on Vacation

We all strive to maintain the perfect balance between our work and personal lives. Somewhere in between cleaning houses, scooting kids out the door for school, managing businesses, making meals, helping with homework, coaching soccer and squeezing in a workout we are supposed to find time for leisure. Naps, quiet strolls or vacations are supposed to aid in the escape from the perfect balance we have created for the day to day version of ourselves.

If you are lucky enough to escape to sunnier destinations there is many an article advising you on how to best protect your home from intruders during your absence. Secure a house sitter, have someone shovel the walk, postpone your newspaper delivery, use timers to turn on the lights and don’t broadcast your travel plans on social media (hereby alerting all evil doers).

But what does this mean for your insurance policy? How will a claim be settled if a loss occurs while you are away?

• Most insurance providers require a competent person to check in on your property daily; starting on the day of departure, if you plan to be gone for more than four consecutive days (I do have one product that extends this grace period to seven)
• If this is not possible alternatives such as shutting off the water and draining the pipes and appliances might be an option
• Lastly, a central alarm monitoring high water, low temperature and intrusion is also acceptable

Otherwise, perils such as water damage, sewer back up, vandalism and glass breakage may be excluded regardless of whether or not you advised your insurance broker. (And contrary to popular belief water is the nasty #1 cause of damage; not fire).

Before jet setting it is my professional recommendation to confirm compliance requirements with your individual insurance provider. I would even go so far as to get a documented response such as an email or policy wording for your records (and peace of mind).

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