Winter Vacation Tips

insurance claim vacation tipsOne of the most common questions I get asked is: “What do I need to do when I leave my house for a vacation or an extended period of times so that my insurance will respond ?”

First and most importantly, if you are going away during the winter months, in order to be covered for water damaged caused by frozen plumbing lines, you have to do one of “3” things:

  • Have your house checked daily by a reliable person to make sure the furnace is working.
  • Shut off the water supply and drain all pipes, attached fixtures and appliances.
  • Have your dwelling electronically monitored 24 hours per day by a company that monitors and responds to a low temperature signal.

I like the low temperature monitor the best as it by the far the most reliable. If you already have a monitored burglar alarm in your house, check with your alarm company as it is usually a low cost to add this monitoring to your system. Also, ask about water monitoring as this can normally be added as well.

Here are a few other tips:

  • Turn your water off at the main shut off. If there is no one in the house, why keep the water turned on. If a plumbing line breaks or starts leaking, there is no water in the line to cause a huge mess and you may avoid having to file an insurance claim.
  • Have someone keep your walks shoveled in the winter and grass cut in the summer.
  • Have someone pick up your mail.
  • Have timer lights so that the house looks like it is occupied.
  • Set your alarm system before you leave. Believe it or not, some people do not set their alarm when they are paying for the service.

These are simple things to do that might prevent you from having to report an insurance claim or have one denied by the insurance adjuster.

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