4 Simple Ways To Protect Home While You're On Vacation | NNINS

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The travel season is here. As Virginia slowly reopens and we find safe ways to resume normal activities, you may be ready for a vacation! The commonwealth has incredible options. Whether you travel to Virginia’s gorgeous beaches, camp along the Blue Ridge, or visit family you've so dearly missed this past year, the last thing you want is to worry about something happening to your home while you’re away.

Getting your home ready for your trip

You know the basics: stop your mail, put lights on a timer, and make sure your yard is trim. But there are a few things you may not have thought of. We’ve seen enough home insurance claims from unexpected catastrophes to know exactly what makes your home the most vulnerable, especially when you're not there to intervene. You can protect your home while you’re on vacation by following these four simple tasks:

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1. Shut off your home's main water supply.

Justin, our home claims expert, says water leaks are so costly that you should never leave appliances running anytime you leave home. Washing machines are a big culprit of water damage. According to IBHS, supply hose failures on washing machines in unoccupied homes resulted in claims that were, on average, two and a half times worse than those occurring in homes with someone at home.

Discovering a leak after a week-long vacation will result in much costlier damage than after eight hours of work. For summer vacations, the safest move is to turn off your home’s main water supply. That way, you’re protected against indoor flooding incidents from everything from appliance failures to plumbing problems. We even heard a story about neighborhood kids leaving a homeowner’s hose running for two weeks in the yard. Can you imagine that water bill?

 

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2. Bring in that spare key.

Under the front door mat or that flowerpot is the first place a thief will look when you’re away. A better place for a spare key for extended times away from home ( even for daily emergencies) is a trusted neighbor or friend. A potential burglar has plenty of time to hunt around for even less obvious hiding places when you're gone on vacation.

 

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Smart locks are an increasingly common part of home security systems. While we like the innovation of smart home technology, check into the software/application thoroughly before purchasing. The technology has developed faster than security protection against hacking. Make sure you're on a secure network or your data when using the app, change your passwords regularly, and use two-factor authentication whenever possible. Don’t forget we provide a home insurance discount for security devices like deadbolt locks and whole-house security systems.

 

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3. Watch what and when you share on social media.

As tempting as it is to “check-in” to vacation venues on social media, remember that you’re also broadcasting to friends and friends of friends, that you’ve checked out of your home. Share vacation details and pictures after you get home from your vacation and encourage your kids to do the same. It may not be as fun, but it's a lot better for your home's security and the valuables you've left behind.

 

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4. Get help from next door.

Strong Virginia communities are built on neighbors helping each other. This is especially true when you can enlist a set of protective eyes and ears to watch your home while you're away. They know what belongs and what doesn't belong in the neighborhood- the strange parked car, the person walking behind the house. They can bring in any packages that get delivered to your home. And maybe this is the safe place for that spare key! Then they can also access your home if there’s an emergency while you’re away. Don’t forget to leave them with a couple of good contact numbers to reach you on vacation. 

 

There are a few more great ideas for preparing your home for your vacation, like unplugging your dryer and expensive electronics, and even smaller appliances, like your coffee pot. We also highly recommend making a home inventory of your belongings to help facilitate a speedier claims process if you do happen to have a claim this summer. Enjoy your vacation and if you need us, give us a call! 877-968-7252

 

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