What would be your biggest concern when jetting off on your vacation – Would the weather ruin your snowboarding plans? What if you forgot to pack your beach gear? And what about the house you’re leaving vacant – What if it falls prey to theft, flooding or a rogue fire?
While it’s obvious that you would lock up all doors and windows, and secure your valuables before you leave, there are many other not-so-obvious ways to protect your home while you’re away. The Souqalmal.com team lists a few tips to keep your home and its contents safe while you enjoy complete peace of mind during your upcoming vacation.
Keep a trusted neighbor in the loop
Inform a trusted neighbor or close friend about your travel plans, so they can keep an eye on your house and pop in every few days to make sure everything’s in order. Nothing screams ‘empty house’ more than a heap of flyers and delivery menus piling up at your doorstep – request your neighbor or friend to pick up the post and get rid of any flyers lying around.
Don’t flaunt your vacation plans on social media
It’s best to not advertise your vacation plans for the whole world to see. While you may obviously want to let your close family and friends know, it’s best to not flaunt this information on any of your social media accounts, especially if your privacy settings are not activated. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to show off your perfect holiday pictures once you’re back.
Use lighting to create the impression you’re at home
Don’t want to invest in an expensive security alarm system? How about installing a timer for some of the lights inside your house? It would be ideal for such lights to be turned on in the evening, and switched off around bedtime, to give the impression you’re at home. You could also install motion sensor lighting for the external areas like your porch or garden.
Check for leaks and maintenance issues beforehand
Before you pack your bags and leave, make sure you check for any maintenance issues around the house. Check for leaky pipes, faulty drainage and such – the last thing you want to come back to is a flooded house. Did you also know that your home insurance claim could get rejected if the cause of damage is wear and tear, and poor maintenance?
Check your home insurance policy
It’s advisable to read up on your home insurance policy before you head out, especially the fine print related to how long the house can be left unoccupied for. Most home insurance policies will allow for the house to be left vacant for a maximum of 60 consecutive days before the cover ceases to exist.
…And the good news – home insurance is more affordable than you think!
Take the stress off your mind – make sure to invest in a good home insurance policy. And if you’re worried that getting home insurance is going to cause another dent in your finances, relax! It’s really affordable, whether you’re a tenant or owner-occupier. According to a 2017 analysis by Souqalmal.com, if you’re a tenant in the UAE, the average cost of an annual home insurance cover is around 0.6 per cent of the value of your insured home contents and personal belongings. So, if you’re insuring about AED70,000 worth of home contents and belongings under a home insurance policy, it will cost you an approximate AED450.
In case of home owners, the cost of insuring the home premises as well as its contents and your personal belongings is an even smaller fraction of the insured value – it ranges from 0.06 per cent to 0.08 per cent, depending on the type and value of the insured building.