Homeowners Insurance Florida | The holidays can be a busy time, especially if you plan on traveling. Unfortunately, you might be so focused on your trip you forget to take simple steps to protect one of the most important, if not the most important, assets in your life….your home!
I asked my fellow employees here at American Integrity how they protect their homes while on vacation. We came up with this handy checklist just for you!
- Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check the house frequently, inside and out, while you are away. Ask them to take in packages, check the kitchen, bathrooms, every level, all the windows and entries on every visit. Show them where the shut-off valve is for your main water line into the house, and where your electrical box is, and supply flashlights in case of a power outage. Provide them with your itinerary, contact info, and service providers, and the number of your American Integrity insurance agent.
- Cancel services that need home access: Cancel your house cleaner, your exterminator, your pool service and any other service that needs access into your house while you are away. Don't explain that you will be gone. A simple, "I don't need you next week, can you come a week from Tuesday?" is enough information.
- Cancel your mail and newspaper delivery: Go online to the USPS.com to stop your mail, and cancel newspaper service both with your newspaper's office and your carrier.
- Do not leave trashcans at the curb: If you have to leave your cans out for pickup after you leave, arrange to have them brought in by whoever is watching the house for you.
- Turn off your main water valve: Thousands of gallons of water can flow into your home with a hot water heater failure or a washer hose leak. Turning off your main water valve into the house can prevent massive water damage.
- Check your sump pump and sump pump alert if you have one: Make sure your sump pump is operating by pouring some water in the pit. It should trigger the pump and be pumped out quickly. If you have alerts on your pump, make sure it will dial the person who has agreed to be responsible while you are away.
- Make your house look lived in: Use timers or a remote app to turn lights on at night and off in the morning in several rooms, in a pattern and schedule that makes your house look occupied (i.e., bedroom lights go on and off later than living room lights). Keep lower drapes or shades closed to prevent someone from casing the house.
- Unplug your electronics: Unplug your computers, TVs, receivers and other electronics, or, if they're plugged into a surge protector, turn off the power strip. In fact, anything that you don't want running in your absence, for example, a space heater, should be unplugged.
- Check your locks before you go: Make sure all windows are closed and locked, all doors and gates are locked, and manually lock your electronic garage door before you leave. Other openers can be used to operate your garage door.
- Remember to regulate your home temperature: It would be unwise to turn your air conditioner off in the Florida heat, but you can keep your house warmer than usual. If you have a programmable or remote thermostat, set it to start cooling things down again about 12 hours before you get home.
- Think about investing in a home security app: There are apps on the market that will monitor your house and alert you via your mobile device when someone enters or valuable items are touched. Most offer video surveillance and even night vision. There's also new technology with sensors that will detect water leakage and alert home owners via mobile device. There are several options.
If things do go awry while you're away, we want you to remember we're there for you. Take your American Integrity’s agent's card with you, supply the number to whoever is responsible for your house, and don't hesitate to call. Peace of mind is exactly what we aim to deliver with your American Integrity insurance policy. You can also reach our claims department 24/7 at 1-866-277-9871. Enjoy the holidays!
Do you have any other tips for protecting your home when away?
For more information on homeowners insurance Florida please visit our website at aiicfl.com or request a quote TODAY!