The holiday season comes with many common risks and insurers are hoping policyholders will avoid them.
Insurance companies see a spike in homeowners insurance claims throughout the month of December every year, but this year, they’re hoping to give a heads up to policyholders to save money for everyone.
The more claims are filed, the more expensive it is to provide coverage and rates may rise.
Claims are expensive not only for insurance companies but also for policyholders when they occur regularly enough. After all, the more expensive it is to provide the coverage, the more insurers need to charge to provide that service. Moreover, nobody actually wants to have to file a claim – particularly at this time of the year. A claim is, after all, the result of an unexpected misfortune that has occurred.
This year, insurers are hoping that their customers will pay attention to some easy, highly effective tips that will help their families, homes and possessions stay safe throughout the holiday season. With everything getting more expensive already, a bit of extra care will benefit everyone at the same time.
Insurance companies are regularly issuing recommendations and instructions to prevent disasters.
Homeowners’ insurers are making recommendations to help prevent everything from thefts to fires throughout the holiday season, even as the risk of those events rises. Among the tips insurance companies are sharing the most include these steps that can be taken on a regular basis, such as daily.
- Check all doors and windows to be sure they are shut all the way and effectively locked, particularly on main floors, basements, and garages.
- Never leave entry keys in a place where they can be found, particularly under a rock or flower pot near the door they unlock. Those are the first places criminals will search.
- Place a metal rod or bar along the track of a sliding door or window to be sure that they cannot be opened even if the locks are broken by a burglar.
- Have a friend or neighbor pick up newspapers and mail or stop delivery altogether throughout times when you will be away. Have someone you trust check the home and property while you’re away, checking for forced entries as well as issues such as water or gas leaks. If you have an alarm system, provide the person with the code to avoid accidentally tripping it.
- Leave a vehicle in the driveway to make a home look like someone is there. If that’s not possible, have a friend or family member pull in and out to leave tracks in any snow, so it looks like people are actively on the property.
- Set light timers, even if it’s just to light the place up for an hour before you get home from work.
- Keep the heat on enough that water pipes won’t freeze and the property – particularly the basement – doesn’t experience frost damage.
- If you’ll be gone for more than a couple of days, shut off the water and empty the pipes.
- Don’t announce your vacation details on social media. Insurance companies want consumers to know that burglars are often people the homeowner knows or who have access to information posted on a social media account. Share vacation photos after you return home.
- Let insurance companies know if you’ll be on vacation for 30 days or more as this could impact coverage.