IBC Top 10: Tips to Protect Your Home and Car While on Vacation

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HALIFAX , Aug. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - As many get ready for one last summer getaway, they know it's important to pack their sunscreen and swimsuit. However, it's also important to protect your home and car while away. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) offers its IBC Top 10: Tips to Protect Your Home and Car While on Vacation.  

"As Atlantic Canadians get ready for end-of-summer getaways, many forget to take precautions to protect their homes and cars," explained Amanda Dean , Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. "Taking an extra 15 minutes to prepare could save you a real headache down the road. By following IBC's Top 10, you can help prevent thefts and accidents from occurring while you are away."

IBC's top 10 tips to protect your home and car while on vacation include the following:

1.     Ask a trusted neighbour or friend to check on your home every few days.

  • Have someone collect your mail and/or newspapers, park a car in your driveway and check to ensure no damages have occurred to your home.  Make sure that they know how to reach you if something happens.

2.     Make your home look lived in.

  • Consider using light switch timers that turn lights on and off automatically, and leave curtains and blinds as they would normally be (removing valuables from clear sight). Noticeable changes in your home's typical appearance may hint that you are away.

3.     Close car windows, lock the doors and keep keys in a safe spot.

  • Be sure not to leave car keys in a visible area in your house; it's best to always keep the keys on you.
  • Keep valuables in the trunk and out of sight.

4.      Disconnect electronics.

  • Unplug TV sets, stereos, computers and other electronics or ensure they are plugged into a surge protector.

5.      If you have a security system, set it before you go.

6.      Inspect your home before you leave.

  • Put away bicycles and gardening equipment and be sure to lock your shed. It's also helpful to keep trees and shrubs trimmed so that your house is in plain view.
  •   Update your home inventory and take photos or video of your home's contents.

7.       Remove all valuables from your car and keep your registration and proof of insurance on you.

  • Some thieves may try to falsify information if they get their hands on your registration and proof of insurance.

8.      If possible, load luggage into your car in your garage.

9.      Don't announce your vacation plans in casual conversations, in emails or on social media sites.

  • Social media sites can reach further than you expect. Don't alert potential thieves to your absence.  Only post travel pictures when you are back.

10.  Double-check that all doors and windows in your home are locked.

"As always, be sure to drive safely. Avoid distractions and make sure you are well rested before hitting the road," Dean added.   

Insurance Coverage

IBC encourages everyone to review and understand their insurance policies. If consumers have questions, they should first contact their insurance representative. For further information, individuals can also contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-565-7189 ext. 228.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is pleased to celebrate 50 years as a valuable resource for insurance information. Since 1964, IBC has been working with governments across Canada to make our communities safer, championing issues that directly affect Canadians and the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry. IBC is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the private P&C insurance market in Canada . The P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes and levies to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $48 billion .

To view media releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Atlantic or like us on Facebook.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Image with caption: "Insurance Bureau of Canada's vacation checklist (CNW Group/Insurance Bureau of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140827_C2745_PHOTO_EN_5148.jpg

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To schedule an interview, please contact: Celyeste Power, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312 (office), 647-384-9872 (after hours), cpower@ibc.ca
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