Winter Weather Tips for Your Second Home

Record-breaking low temperatures and winter weather have gripped much of the country over the last few weeks. With severe temperature changes and weather conditions, the likelihood for a severe weather claim increases as the temperatures drop. If you are heading away from home this winter, here are some important steps you can take to help protect it from the elements.

The most common risk exposures for an unoccupied home are water damage, theft, and electrical or heating system malfunctions. However, there are many preventative measures that you can take to help protect your home.

Here are some handy tips to consider for your next extended trip out of town:

  1. Ask a domestic employee, trusted friend, or family member to collect packages and items that may be left at your home while you are away.
  2. Ensure that all exterior security is up-to-date and secure, including security lights and alarm systems.
  3. Secure and lock all doors and windows, including garages and all guest houses, outbuildings, and sheds on your property.
  4. Secure high-priced jewelry items in a safe deposit box or secure offsite location.
  5. Do not post travel plans on social media. Thieves can use this information against you while you are away.
  6. Set the indoor temperature to at least 55º. This helps ensure that pipes do not freeze during winter weather.
  7. Shut off the water to all washing machines and dishwashers to avoid leaks from broken hoses.
  8. Install a water flow sensor or low temperature monitor on your main water supply pipe that can be hooked into a monitored alarm system or by phone. (This may also qualify you for a credit on your premier homeowner’s insurance policy.)
  9. Perform routine maintenance, or hire reputable vendors who can inspect your heating systems and electrical systems to ensure they are in working order.
  10. Have a licensed contractor to inspect your proof and clean your gutters to prevent ice dam build-up that can damage your home.

Do you need assistance finding a reputable vendor to help inspect your property before your trip? Contact a trusted insurance advisor at Sterling Coverage today.