You might have seen my colleague Annmarie’s recent column on how to protect yourself while traveling this summer. While the safety of you and your family is paramount, there is a related, yet overlooked, property risk many travelers are forgetting.
Consider the fact that in 2015, the FBI estimated that there were more than 1.5 million burglaries nationwide, the majority of which (71.6%) occurred in residential properties. As you and your family prepare to head out on summer vacation—possibly leaving your home vacant and unattended—this number is not to be overlooked.
Fortunately, there are some easy measures you can take to help protect your home from break-ins and property damage while away, in turn preventing headache and heartbreak upon return. Consider the following:
- Look like you’re home. Prior to departure, set timers on interior and exterior lights to give the illusion of activity. Ask a trusted neighbor to mow your lawn and pick-up your mail so that it appears your home is occupied.
- Secure and alarm your property. Deadbolt windows and doors and alarm your home upon departure. Contacting your alarm company to let them know you will be away can help provide an additional layer of security.
- Shut off all appliances. Your home has a far greater likelihood to have a plumbing leak than a burglary. Avoid water damage by turning off washing machines and dishwashers before heading out. In the event of a leak, installing an automatic water leak detection and shut-off system can prevent much larger damage from developing, potentially salvaging your flooring, not to mention valuable articles, in the process.
Whether you’ll be hitting the beach or trekking to a remote location this summer, you and your family deserve a worry-free vacation. Don’t let the risk of property damage stand in the way!
For more information about how to best protect yourself, your family and valuables this travel season, check out the Chubb Travel, Protected website.
Jennifer Naughton is Executive Vice President, Risk Consulting Officer, with Chubb Personal Risk Services.