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Before you go on holidays, remember to protect your home

Are you one of the lucky ones going on vacation shortly? Although there is great anticipation for an upcoming holiday, don’t forget to consider your home. An unoccupied home is at greater risk of damage and more susceptible to a break-in. While you’re away, you can reduce the risk – and save some money – by following these simple tips:

• Consider turning off the water. A ruptured pipe can do a lot of damage in very little time.
• Turn down the heat to room temperature or install a programmable thermostat.
• Minimize the amount of perishable food in your refrigerator and freezer. If your refrigerator stops working, or if there’s an extended power outage, you’ll be happy you did.
• If you have a home alarm system, let the alarm company know when you’ll be away and ensure that your call list is up-to-date
• Do not notify your social media networks of your upcoming holiday.
• Ask your BrokerLink broker how you can keep your home insurance coverage active while you’re away. Depending on the policy, coverage may only be provided for a certain number of hours or days. In addition to understanding the policy, ask someone to regularly visit your home when you’re away. This will help reduce the chance of an unexpected event, such as a burst pipe, causing further damage to your home. Ensure this person has your contact information.

Unoccupied homes are also a prime target for thieves and vandals. Here’s how to make your home look “more lived in” while you are away:

• Have someone check your place regularly.
• If you live in a house, make arrangements to have the grass cut.
• Ask a neighbour to pick up mail and newspapers, or stop mail and paper delivery altogether.
• Set up timers on lights, both inside and out.
• Secure your yard or outdoor shed by padlocking them.
• Let a neighbour know where you’re going on vacation, when you’ll return and how to reach you. Ask them to call if they notice anything strange.

If you have concerns about your home insurance coverage while on vacation, contact your BrokerLink broker. They’ll explain whether your policy requires changes and can make suggestions for how to best protect your home so you can kick back and enjoy a worry-free

vacation.