K5 Insurance 5 steps to Protect your vacant Property.
Before you leave for the cabin or a few days out of town, or if you are selling your home and it’s sitting on the market, take the time to understand your insurance coverage and follow up with these 5 steps to minimize your risk on your vacant home!!
- NOTIFY –Call your broker well in advance. Get some quick advice to protect you in the long run. They will let you know what steps you have to take to maintain your insurance. Learn the definition of Vacant as defined by your insurance company. You home may be vacant or unoccupied or under construction.
- REDUCE RISK – Decrease risk of burglary, vandalism and squatting by improving your home’s exterior lighting. A combination of lights on timers and motion activated lights will deter burglars. There are home security systems that offer enhanced exterior lights that integrate with security cameras. When the light detects motion, the home security camera is activated and records video. You can install a home automation system to give you the convenience of turning lights on and off remotely.
While window air condition units, heat pumps, cabinets and copper are some of the hottest items, stow away your tools, toys and other valuable items.
- MAINTAIN – As part of maintaining the property and avoiding that ‘abandoned look,’ have a trusted friend, neighbour or family member conduct regular and ongoing walk-throughs during the period of vacancy. Consider creating a detailed checklist to help them out. This can include picking up the mail, especially if it’s in a front yard or door-side post box, or if packages are delivered outside the door, Lawn care and shovelling walkways. Monitored alarm systems can also have sensors for cold and wet to give you peace of mind.
- FIRE AND WATER –Test all fire protection and detection systems to make sure they’re in good working order. Shut off your main water supply valve to help reduce the chances of a rupture or leak. For those colder months, make sure the home is winterized with adequate heating to prevent pipes from freezing. If the heat is turned off, ensure all systems containing water are drained.
- PESTS – Mice and more: Take steps to minimize exposure to vermin infestations. Have your trusted friend or family member check the property for foul odours, pest droppings, nesting materials or strange noises. Set traps if needed, and call an exterminator if there’s evidence of animal activity.
Maintenance and prevention are vital to ensuring your home policy will cover you in the event of a claim. Be sure to do your part to prevent damage that may not be covered.