Protect your home and belongings before you go on holiday

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Whether you’re going on holiday for 2-weeks or just a couple of nights, it’s worth taking the time to ensure your home is exactly how you left it on your return. Unfortunately during the warm summer month’s burglaries and burst pipes increase exponentially. scene_email_small_holiday_to_do

Whilst your home insurance provides some protection, the inconvenience caused and amount of time to rectify can be costly and emotionally draining.

Here are our top tips to protect your home while you’re away, and avoid becoming another statistic:

Avoid burglaries

Hide the tell-tale signs you’re away

There’s a few ways you can make it look like you’re still home. Consider leaving your car on the driveway, make sure the grass is cut, post isn’t piling up and keep curtains/blinds open.

Secure your valuables

Don’t leave valuables, gadgets or car keys in plain sight of windows. If possible leave them with a friend or neighbour. Don’t hide valuables in your underwear draw or under the bed – these are classic hiding places, which any thief will search immediately.

Turn everything off at the socket

Make sure all appliances are switched off at the socket with the exception of your fridge/freeze. You may also want to leave your  TV on if you plan to record shows while you’re away. Not only does this reduce the risk of fire, but should also save you money on your utility bills.

Lock everything and remove keys from locks

Make sure all doors, windows and entrances to your home, garage and outbuildings are locked. It’s also prudent to remove all keys from the locks to try and minimise the amount burglars can take from your home.

Don’t advertise the fact you’re away on social media

Advertising on social media you’re going on holiday, how long for and when you’ll be back isn’t advisable. Not only could you advertise the fact you’re away, this could also invalidate your claim.

Ask someone to check your home

Even if it’s just to water the plants, having someone regularly popping in while you’re away can act as a deterrent to someone watching your house.  This will ensure any damage or problems are spotted quickly and reduce the damage caused to your home.

‘Negligent’ behaviour could invalidate home cover

Unfortunately, even if it’s accidental, leaving access points to a property open could land you in difficulties when it comes to claiming.

Policy holders are expected not to be negligent when looking after their homes, and leaving doors and windows open, and then being burgled, would almost certainly come under the terms of what constitutes ‘negligent behaviour’ for most insurers.

Avoid Escape of water Claims

During July and August escape of water claims will cost the insurance industry a whopping £155 million – £2.5 million per day. Whilst that’s a big number it’s worth bearing in mind you could also be liable for hundreds of pounds due to the cost of water escaping.

Check for leaks and tighten all taps

Inspect your bathroom and kitchen taps for any leaks – including the pipes beneath the sink. If you spot any problems contact a plumber to carry out any necessary maintenance work. You should also tightly close all taps, sinks and showers.

Turn off appliances

Before going on holiday switch off any appliances which use water, such as washing machines and dishwashers.

Turn off water supply

Unlike in winter where freezing pipes can be a problem, it is advisable to switch off your water while you’re away during the warm summer months. Whilst this may not stop water from escaping it will limit the amount of water flowing through your home from burst pipes.

Policy Expert

If you have any questions regarding your policy or need any help please contact one of our experts. They’re available by calling 0330 0600 601 or by emailing ask@policyexpert.co.uk. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do so please get in touch if you need anything.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.