How to prepare your home before a getaway

September 11th, 2014

Does your insurance policy have a vacant dwelling restriction?

If so, your property may not have insurance coverage if you are away from your home for an extended period of time. If you are unsure, you should check with your insurance professional to advise you.

Here are some other suggestions on how to prepare your home from fire and flood perils prior to going on vacation:

• Have a trusted friend, neighbour, or service enter your home every three days to check on the condition of it and it is highly suggested they document the visits. The documentation will give a timeline should there be an insurable loss situation e.g. furnace failure, burst water pipes. As well, they can serve as a contact that knows how to get a hold of you in the event of an emergency.

• To prevent water damage from the inside of your home, you should turn off your water coming into the house and then drain the water in the lines. This would prevent water from a burst line to run from the upper levels of your home and pool in the basement.

• For those electric devices not in use such as computers, televisions, toasters, coffee makers, etc., they should be unplugged to prevent damage from electrical surges.

• Depending on the time of year turn down the heat, or turn off the a/c so they are not wasted to an unoccupied building. The heat should still remain at a temperature of 14C so that items inside the house do not freeze such as water lines.

• Gas appliances that are not in use should be shut off e.g. gas fireplace, hot water tank, stove, etc.

• Please report to the Condo Management Representative the duration of your trip and the contact name and number of the person checking on your home so they can contact that person in the event of an emergency.

In addition, you can improve security and give yourself peace of mind by installing a monitored security system with fire detection, flood detection, and temperature monitoring.

These practices should be followed whenever you plan on going away on a trip. Doing so will help in reducing the potential for a loss occurring or minimizing damage while you are away.

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