Vacation houses, whether nestled in the mountains or along the coastline, are a home away from home. They can provide much-needed getaways for people looking to relax in a space that’s still comfortable and familiar to them. But what about those months when you can’t get away to your vacation home, and it’s just sitting there empty? The threat of burglaries or maintenance accidents can linger in the back of your head. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to ease your state of mind.
- Install Security Cameras
In this age of digital technology, there is no shortage of companies or products that can protect your vacation home from intruders. One option is to hire a reputable security company that can install cameras and other security measures in and around your home. In most cases, not only will you receive an intruder alert, but the local police and security company will be alerted as well.
Alternatively, there is the option to install your own cameras and equipment. By doing so, you have the ability to completely monitor any activity at your vacation home.
- Create a Lived-In Look
Burglars are less inclined to break into a house that has occupants. While you may not actually be at the house, there are things you can do make it seem like you are, such as not letting your lawn and garden grow out of control. Hiring a landscaping service to come every so often will help your yard look well-maintained. In addition to a security system, you can also install automatic lights that come on at certain times. The lights will make it seem as if people are coming and going instead of it being dark and empty all the time. Lastly, cancel any mail or newspaper services that may be delivered to your vacation home. The look of piled-up mail and papers is a giveaway to potential robbers that a home is empty.
- Lock It Up
Having extra keys to your vacation home can be helpful for you, but they can also be a liability if left unattended. Spare keys can often be found in common hiding spots, like under a plant or mat, and those are usually the first places someone who plans on breaking in will look. Instead, you could give your spare key to a trusted neighbor or place it in a lock box with an access code. In addition to keeping your keys safe, also keep your locks secure. Change out your locks periodically, and before you leave your vacation home, double check all of your windows and doors to make sure they are secure.
Your vacation home should be a haven to retreat to when you want to getaway. It shouldn’t be a place that comes with constant worry. At Penny Insurance Agency, our agents will work with you to customize the best plan to protect this hard-earned asset. Contact us today to find out more about what makes Penny the best insurance partner for you.
Be Fun, and Smart, in the Sun: Home Safety Tips
If your vacation consists of anything other than a staycation, you’ll be leaving your house vacant. Whether you’re going away for a short weekend trip or a month-long getaway, your house is vulnerable when you’re away. Your house is not only more susceptible to burglaries but to maintenance accidents or damages too. By following the tips below, you can take measures to ensure your home stays safe while you’re away.
Away from Home
One tip to keep in mind when you’re away from your house is to stay off social media until you get home. While it may be hard to resist posting that Instagram worthy photo, it’s safer for your home if you hold off. Posting that photo can tell all of your friends and followers that your home is empty and unprotected, increasing the risk of a break-in. If you can’t resist staying off social media, turn your account on private to restrict who sees where you are.
No one wants to come home to a house that’s seen accidents since they’ve been gone. Unfortunately, disasters can still happen even when you’re enjoying yourself on vacation. Flooded toilets, sinks, bathtubs, etc. can wreak havoc on empty households. To prepare your home, inspect and repair any damages to your water systems before you leave.
Even worse than coming home to a flooded house is coming home to no house at all. House fires that occur while on vacation are a very real threat. Thankfully, you can prevent fires by taking a few precautions. Start by making sure electronics and appliances are unplugged and turned off. Double check all of your smoke and gas detectors to make sure they’re working properly. Accidents can always happen but taking these steps will lower the probability of them occurring while you’re away.
The summer months and the vacations that come with them should be a time to de-stress and relax. At Penny Insurance Agency, we aim to make your summer one that you can enjoy with a peace of mind. If you’re concerned about your vacation home, check out our blog on what you can do to make sure you vacation home stays secure when it’s empty.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about the areas we cover that you may not already have protected and how we can help you get the most out of your homeowner’s insurance coverage.
Be Fun, and Smart, in the Sun: Road Trips and Water Safety Tips
The warm summer months bring with them children happy to be done with school, adults excited to enjoy the nice weather and vacation time, and plenty of time to relax in the sun. With a little over half of Americans taking a vacation this year, chances are you may be one of them.
Hitting the Road
If you’re hitting the road this summer, you’re probably eager to get to your vacation destination. Despite the light, aka the sun, at the end of the tunnel, you still need to stay cautious when getting there. Roads are packed during the summer holiday, with both tourists in your city and with people making their way to their own summer vacation spots. Getting your car or RV protected with insurance and prepared for your summer travels can take a weight off your shoulders. It’s important not to do just the minimum though. Drivers need to stay vigilant on the road to protect themselves and those around them.
The means summer months can be even more dangerous for driving than the winter ones. In the winter, bad road conditions are expected, so drivers are more aware. The months of May, June, July and August have some of the highest fatal car crashes out of the year in the United States. People may be distracted by the thought of their destination, tired after being in the sun all day, or maybe even simply preoccupied by the other passengers in the car.
Tourists visiting a new place may also be distracted by maps and GPS guides. This can cause them to drive slower than normal and can split the driver’s attention. If you’re traveling somewhere foreign during these upcoming summer months, it’s responsible to have a designated navigator to help you on your journey.
Cool Off in the Water
Whether it’s the beach, the lake, or the pool, the water is one spot that isn’t too hot for people of all ages to enjoy. No matter where you’re enjoying the water, it’s crucial to ensure that everyone who plans on getting in knows how to swim. If there are people who can’t swim or
are inexperienced, set aside a shallow area for them to still be able to enjoy the water in. It’s still necessary to make sure this area is well-supervised in case of an accident.
The threat of drowning is present at any body of water but is especially prevalent at the beach where tides and waves can be unpredictable. Most lakes also have low visibility, so it’s alarmingly easy, and quick, to lose sight of a child in the water. Aside from drowning, there are a lot of other things to consider when ensuring the safety of your water-filled fun.
Backyard swimming pools are a hub for fun activities over the summer. There are a few things homeowners can do to make sure their pool stays safe during this time and year-round. A backyard pool should be secured, like a home, in case of unwanted visitors. Examples of backyard and pool security are gates with self-latching mechanisms and fences surrounding the deck and pool area. It may be beneficial to alarm the entry points to the pool and deck as well. Lifesaving equipment, such as life preserves, are also recommended. Your backyard pool should have regular maintenance checks to ensure the chemicals and filters are working properly.
Getting out on the water is one of the best parts of going to the lake, but boat owners have to understand the liability concerns that come with the luxury. Boat owners are responsible for the safety of their craft and the safety of the passengers on board with them. Boat insurance can cover different areas, such as: property damage liability, collision damage, bodily injury liability, hull coverage, and fuel spill liability. 4 The driver and passengers alike should take safety precautions when getting out on the water. Boats need to have the proper safety equipment in case of an emergency. Having the proper boat insurance and safety precautions will lessen the risk associated with having fun on the water.
What about protecting your home while away? Stay tuned for our next blog on protecting your home when you’re on vacation! And contact us today to learn more about how Penny Insurance can help increase your fun and decrease your worry this summer.