Vacation homes are something people save for years to own. Retirees who want to escape the cold each winter look forward to the socializing and relaxation they receive when at their winter residence. The investment in a second home is a major purchase for most people, and since many retirees live on fixed incomes, it is an investment that needs protection.
Keep It Insured
Homeowners insurance that protects the house and the property inside is a necessity for anyone who cannot write out a check to replace the items. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies accept vacation homes. Homes left vacant for many months are at a larger risk for maintenance problems and potential break-ins than occupied homes.
The hurricane threat in Florida increases home damage risk, so retirees that vacation in the Sunshine State often experience hesitation from agents when they attempt to start a policy. The solution is non-standard home coverage. The willingness to accept the higher risk makes the companies that offer non-standard insurance a convenient option for many people.
Prepare Before Leaving
Homes need special care before the owners move out for several months. A few days before the move, cancel any paper deliveries and stop mail delivery. Then on the day of the move, unplug all electrical appliances and electronics left behind. Next, disconnect the batteries on any vehicle left behind in the garage.
To protect the home from temperature or humidity extremes, program the climate control system to a safe level. Also, clean out all perishable food and remove any garbage from the home. Take or throw out open boxes or containers of any food that may entice rodents.
Lastly, close and lock all windows. Install secure door locks and double-check each door before leaving.
Install Home Security
Smartphone-monitored security systems are easy to find. Owners can watch their property even when they are thousands of miles away. Consider a system that sends alerts when temperatures in the home fluctuate or it detects smoke or water damage. The installation of a monitored system may even lead to a homeowners insurance discount.
Hire Cleaning Help
Hire a cleaning service for a weekly appointment. The use of this service lets homeowners arrive at a home that is clean and fresh. An added benefit is that each week, someone is in the home to monitor its condition.
Many things can happen over a multi-month absence. Rodents can become ruthless squatters, a small drip from a faucet can begin to overflow onto the floor, and a break-in could go unreported until it is too late for any hope of property recovery. A weekly housekeeper will notice when something is awry and notify the homeowner or the police.
Fool the Thieves
Empty vacation homes are commonplace in Florida and are often located close to other part-time residences. It is unlikely that thieves expecting homes to be empty will be easy to fool with timed lights or the other methods people use when they leave for a week or a weekend. Instead, make the home as unappealing to thieves as possible.
Place valuable electronics, collectibles, and artwork where they cannot be seen through the windows. Move expensive vehicles to a storage facility, and place tools or other desirable items out of sight. Identity thieves love personal documents with names and social security numbers, so remove these as well.
Insurance offers protection and peace of mind. At Metropolitan Insurance Service Consultants, Inc, we offer non-standard home insurance policies that protect high-risk vacation homes among many other types of residences. We also offer coverage in several other states. Ask about the possibility of having the same peace of mind everywhere you reside. Contact us today.