Homeowners safety tips are always important as reminders and action points, especially in summer or at holidays. Because I write about insurance every day, this blog post is in line with homeowners’ insurance. Mortgage lenders want homeowners to have insurance, and you’re probably not getting a mortgage without homeowners’ insurance! To review, there are several policy types and depending upon the one you buy, different protection is provided.
- Coverage for the structure only
- Coverage for contents only (this is typical in a renter’s policy because the structure is owned by your landlord)
- A “complete” homeowners policy that covers the structure, and provides liability and contents coverage
The amount of coverage (policy limits) is also mostly your choice. Some policies have essentially standard amounts of coverage, but you usually can increase the amounts. If you want to increase the policy limits, the insurance company will charge an additional premium. If you have a mortgage, the bank or mortgage company will require that you have at least enough to cover the value of the structure because the mortgage loan is secured by the structure. Therefore, if the building gets damaged or destroyed, the lender needs assurance that it will be repaid, or that there is enough money available to repair or rebuild the structure.
While one of the purposes of homeowners’ insurance is to protect your home and your personal possessions, it isn’t foolproof; it may not cover the full value of everything you own. That’s why your involvement in providing protection is vital. What your involvement is can vary with the season.
Homeowners’ Safety Tips In Summer
Crooks don’t take summer breaks from being crooks. Summer presents many special risks for homeowners because hedges and grass grow, during nice weather you and your family may be out and about more, you go on vacations, and you may even leave the windows open!
You can see why summer presents special risks.
My Homeowners’ Safety Tips
- There are security cameras available for purchase at most big-box retailers and online. Install them at your points of access into your home.
- Get motion detector lighting installed around your home, as well, especially in the back where it’s typically darker.
- If you do go on vacation, stop the paper delivery or ask the neighbors to collect the papers so they don’t pile up at the end of the driveway. Same, too, for the mail.
- Take a regular tour around your home to see if any access point has been breached.
- Many municipalities offer a free home inspection with the police department. Or, if you’re worried, ask a security company to come and inspect the safety of your home.
- If you park your vehicle in the driveway, ensure that it is locked, windows are up and nothing is visible in the backseat or storage area that would invite a break in.
More Homeowners’ Safety Tips
A respected insurance publication, PropertyCasualty360, suggests the following:
• Don’t post your travel plans on social media. Some burglars use social media sites to find potential victims.
• Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. Push-button locks are easy to breach.
• Trim bushes, hedges, and trees. Overgrown foliage provide ready places to hide.
• Keep your garage door closed.
• Keep a radio on while you are away; it may make it seem like someone is home.
• Get to know your neighbors so you can look out for each other.
• Make sure that the exterior of your home is well-illuminated. Motion detectors that turn on floodlights are especially useful. If they are adjustable, make sure that the floodlight remains on for a sufficient time. It is well worth the added electricity usage!
• Lock up all ladders and tools that could be used to break into your home. If you have a shed in which you keep them, make sure that it is locked with a sturdy lock.
• Although useful at any time, install a monitored alarm system and use it. Alarm systems have become far less costly than before. Many insurance companies give premium discounts when you show proof of a monitored alarm system.
• Burglars don’t like dogs because they bark. Don’t consider a dog as a substitute for a monitored alarm system, but you can save the life of an adoptable dog and help protect your home by adopting one. They are a joy to have, can be a loyal member of your family, and should be treated as such.