The kiddies are on spring break, the weather’s great, and you’ve got an extra hour of daylight to burn!  Whether your break will consist of a “staycation” at a beach or theme park or you’re planning a relaxing out-of-state getaway, follow these helpful tips to ensure you have a worry-free vacation and your Florida homeowners insurance policy has the coverage you need if the unfortunate happens while you’re away!

  • Have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up the paper and mail for you.
    • Having mail in the mailbox or newspapers in the driveway are huge indications that no one is home.
  • Consider purchasing an automatic light timer.
    • Wireless wall switches can control everything from lights and fans to televisions. This will give the appearance that someone is home and deter criminal activity. You can usually find these products for under $25.
  • Pick-up the keys.
    • Most people have a hidden key, but even the “best” hiding space is obvious to a criminal. Remember to pick-up your emergency keys to ensure the security of your home.
  • Think about your windows.
    • It’s usually recommended that you do not close all your blinds unless that is something you always do. A change in routine can alert others that no one is home. It is also recommended that you block off or darken garage windows if the garage is empty. Most importantly, make sure all windows are closed and locked.
  • Have a monitored alarm system.
    • With all of our technological advances we have the options to have advanced home monitoring systems. Many of these system have App you can download to watch your home in real time from where ever you go. Many homeowners insurance companies offer discounts on insurance if you have a monitored alarm system so it is a great option to protect your home and save some money.
  • Using outdoor lighting.
    • Little lawn lights or solar-powered lights outside can help protect your home after the sun goes down.
  • Wait until you return from vacation to post details to social media.
    • Vacationing is exciting, and it is fun to share your wonderful trip with friends and family. But waiting until you return can greatly improve the security of your home. The internet is a great way to share your adventure, but it also can make you an easy target. We would love to see pictures from your trip when you return @securityfirstFL.

What many people overlook:

  • Turn off your water.
    • This step is highly overlooked. Turning off your water can insure that when you return your house is not soaked. In case a pipe was to burst or even a slow leak were to occur, your water bill could sky rocket and the damage could be extensive. Protect your home by simply shutting off the water.
  • Turn the A/C up but not off.
    • Turning the A/C off to conserve money might seem like a good idea but can cause serious mold or mildew damage. You don’t want fungi moving in while you are away. Turn the A/C up but not off.
  • Check your water heater.
    • Make sure your water heater is operating in good condition. Check for clogs, weird sounds and uneven heating or burst of heat in your water. For details on how to check your water heater check out this interesting blog making sense of water heaters.
  • Log your valuables.
    • There are many Florida homeowners insurance programs that allow you to make an inventory of your valuables. Before you leave for a trip, you should check that you have insurance for your most important assets. If you don’t have a chance to make a full list before your trip, you can still use a contents estimator. Make sure you have the right amount of coverage for your belongings. Discuss options with your home insurance agent.
  • Be prepared
    • Checking your home insurance coverage might not be on your traditional vacation preparation checklist – but it should be. Did you realize that your Florida home insurance policy covers content loss or damage you suffer when you’re home and away? And Security First Insurance’s policy includes replacement cost coverage—this means your belongings are valued brand new!

Important: If you’re renting, be aware that your landlord will not replace or compensate your damaged or stolen contents. Florida renters insurance is fairly inexpensive – but priceless in the event of a loss. Also, make sure you have the proper amount of coverage. I recommend a review of your policy’s Coverage C.

Enjoy your vacation, stay safe, and, in case the unfortunate occurs, make sure you have the proper Florida home owners insurance coverage so you can continue to relax after you return.