So you are about to go on your travels, check-list done: passport, tickets, money, itinerary, accommodation booking confirmations, travel insurance, but hold on did you check your home insurance?
Yes, it is important to check your house insurance is appropriate especially if it is a long trip. Many insurance policies can be invalid for a claim if your home is unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days. If you are on a round the world tour then you could be in trouble.
Check with your insurer or broker and get the best home insurance quotes for your circumstances.
Protecting your home whilst you’re abroad can often be overlooked in the excitement of going away on that trip that you’ve saved up for.
Tips to protect your home:-
There are some steps you can take which can give you some peace of mind.
- If you have family nearby or neighbours you can trust ask them to check in on your house from time to time. A family member may even stay in the house every once in a while to keep the building occupied in that critical 30 day period.
- Consider having a burglar alarm fitted. This is a good deterrent for any prying eyes plus it lets all the neighbours know if something is wrong. Take time on your choice of alarm as some can earn you a discount on your premium if they are approved by your insurer.
- Fitting secure door locks, insurers prefer the 5 lever mortice dead door locks. Also make sure you have locks from the inside on all your windows and use them.
- If your street has a neighbourhood watch scheme then join up, this can also help in reducing how much you pay for dwelling insurance.
- It is also worth the small investment to buy one or two timer switches. If you have your lights activated to come on during an evening or your radio to come on at various parts of the day. This is more likely to convince people that someone is at home.
The risks to your home are many and you need to consider them instead of just buying cheap home insurance. In the mid-1990s my flat was burgled whilst I was away on a work trip for less than a week. It can happen at any time.
I also consider the need to cover for items such as my bicycle. This was important to me as I’ve suffered from bike thefts in the past. Check your policy details to ensure items such as your bike or items left in outbuildings are covered.
I’ve also returned in more recent years from a trip to the US to find that my hot water tank had leaked whilst I was away. You really need to make sure that your dwelling insurance will cover for the significant damage a burst water pipe can do in such a short period of time.
When planning your cover for the time you are away consider the policy you need. If you have a mortgage then your finance house will want you to take out buildings insurance. Remember this doesn’t have to be to the market value of your home, just the rebuild value.
Your home insurance premiums can be significantly affected by the very important contents insurance. Make sure you provide a fair value for the items within your house. No point scrimping on the policy to find that you are under insured.
Also make enquiries as to whether items you take out of the house with you are covered. You may well be taking your iPod or beloved Kindle with you as well as a tablet or computer. Find out if they are covered away from the home.
It is important not to just go for cheap home insurance, you need to compare contents insurance to get the most suitable policy for you. If cost is an issue then raise your excess and that can reduce the cost of your premium. Can you really cut corners on peace of mind?
What are the steps you take to ensure you are insured appropriately before taking that big, exciting trip overseas? Leave your comments below and share your tips. Hopefully by now you know why you should insure your home whilst abroad.