18 Jul Protecting Your Home While Out on Summer Vacation
As we settle into summer, no doubt many of us have planned or are planning a getaway. There are few things as relaxing as taking in the sights and attractions other places have to offer.
Even as we leave our homes, your insurance lawyers at Mendez Law Firm knows that we carry them with us wherever we go. Unfortunately, the joy of vacation can quickly come to an end when we finally make it back home only to find out that someone has broken in and stolen from you.
As terrible as being burglarized is, there is plenty that you can do to protect your home from being a target.
A Quick Fact
A burglary happens every 15 seconds in the United States. The average loss of property is estimated at around $2,000.
The best way to safeguard your house when you leave for a trip during the summer is to take the necessary steps to always keep your property safe. You shouldn’t just concern yourself before taking a trip; homeowners need to have safety measures already in place.
Some of the basic and more well-known ways to protect your home include:
- A home security system
- Motion sensor floodlights
- Blocking access to basement and backdoors
- Wooden or steel doors
- Switching to deadbolt locks
Other ways to maintain the security of your home that you might not generally think about include:
- Keeping your curtains/blinds closed, making it impossible for your possessions to be viewed by potential thieves.
- Safes and other security containers should be kept out of sight.
- Don’t help burglars out – put away all ladders, tools, and other outdoor equipment that could potentially aid an intruder.
- Hide all personal information in a fireproof container.
- Make sure your wireless network is secure.
- Shred papers and take boxes apart before throwing them in your trash can.
- Lock your garage and windows.
As the time gets closer to your vacation, fight the desire to make your plans public information, either through word of mouth or social media. That includes documenting your adventure with pictures and social media posts.
Instead, take inventory of your most valuable possessions with photos and other relevant information on them. If you have a family member, neighbor, or friend you can trust, have them pick up your mail and park their car in your driveway some days.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the measures you can take to keep thieves out of your home but they should help to deter potential threats.
One thing that many people find helpful in addition to these steps is seeking out the right home insurance. When the right plan is combined with a company that wants to help, coming home to the stressful reality of a burglary and dealing with the aftermath is much easier.
What to Do After a Burglary
Before doing anything else and entering your home, be absolutely positive that no harm exists to you or your family. If you suspect that the thief may still be inside, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Once the house has been proven to be safe, you need to do the following:
- File a police report
- Inspect your home for damages and document them with photos/video
- Put together a list of everything that the burglar(s) stole/damaged
- Any repairs necessary to protect against additional damages should be made immediately and all receipts for these costs should be kept
The list you make of stolen and damaged possessions is particularly important in speeding up the process of filing your claim. As a general rule, the more detailed information you can provide, the better it is for you. Include information such as:
- The original cost of an item
- Time and place of purchase
- Any receipts
- Photos/videos of items
Additionally, don’t dispose of anything related to your losses in the burglary. If something is damaged in your home, it is a part of what should be investigated by your insurance company.
Make sure to also keep accurate records of all paperwork during the claim process, including the police report and anything you receive from your insurance carrier. This is important as any missing documents can both slow and negatively impact your claim.
If you are having to file an insurance claim because of a burglary and your insurance company is acting in bad faith, then contact the Brownsville insurance lawyers at Mendez Law Firm today.
Sadly, sometimes we do all we can to protect where we live, and it is still not enough. To make matters worse, our insurance companies do not always have our best interests in mind and fail to offer the help we need.
When you feel that there is no one to turn to, remember that at Mendez Law Firm, you matter. Contact us today at (956) 541-7600 and let us fight to get you the compensation you deserve and need to get your peace of mind back.