There's no place like home – and home insurance is there to help keep the things you love safe. But who doesn't love a getaway? From a weekend city break to a month long backpacking adventure – however you're holidaying, take a minute to think about what you're leaving behind. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of an upcoming trip, but taking a few precautionary steps could help keep your home safe and avoid any nasty surprises when you return.
Subtlety is key
Of course you want to share your trip with your nearest and dearest, but be cautious about who else might overhear – if this information reaches the wrong hands it could mean bad news. Even if you’re hoping for a speedy-departure, try to avoid leaving your car full of luggage in your drive the day before you leave.
Put timers on lights
Simple but effective. Keeping your lights on a timer creates the illusion that someone is home to any potential criminals who might be on the lookout.
Curtains opened or closed?
It’s a tricky one – open curtains may look normal in the day time but a little odd at night time, and vice versa. One option is to keep the curtains as they would be normally as a sudden change will only make it more obvious to any onlookers that no one’s home. Alternatively see if a neighbour will periodically open and close the curtains so it looks like the house is still occupied.
Check in with your insurer before you jet off
If you’re planning to get away for a longer period of time, it’s important to refer to your home insurance documents or direct to your insurer to check whether any limitations or exclusions apply. Some insurance policies can become invalid if your home is left unoccupied for 60 days (although this can be 30 days in some cases). Insurers can be pretty strict on this so make sure you get in touch before your trip to avoid any unexpected costs. Don’t worry - they’ll usually be able to increase your premiums on a case by case basis for the time you’re away.
A quick word on insurance…
You might be able to obtain extra cover on your home and contents if you find yourself travelling for longer than 60 days (or 2 months). However if you’re going to be away for longer, you may need to seek specialist home insurance. Insurance for homes which are going to be unoccupied for a lengthier period of time than your average holiday will protect you against risks like flooding, damage from a fire or storm as well as burglary.
The cost of any extra cover will depend on the value of the property and it’s location and the cost of any valuables you want to protect. It’s important to check the cover details carefully and make sure you’re aware of any exclusions.