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LuggageThe last thing you want to think about before leaving on vacation is insurance. However, by taking the time to review your policies and using a little precaution prior to going, you can enjoy your vacation worry-free, knowing you have the right coverage.

We recommend reviewing your insurance policies well in advance of your departure, so there will be enough time to make any necessary changes. Most homeowner and manufactured housing policies only cover up to 10 percent of the personal property limit provided under the policy, for covered losses which occur away from the residence premises.

Also, you should understand the 10 percent limit does not apply to all items you may take on your trip. There are special limits for such items as laptop computers, jewelry, guns and other categories of property. For some of these items, additional or specific coverage may be available.  Be aware certain dwelling fire and/or manufactured homeowner policy forms may not cover theft at all, or on a very limited basis. 

If you do not currently have a homeowners or manufactured housing policy or have any questions concerning your current coverage, contact your agent to see how best to protect your valuables while you’re away.

Once you have determined you have sufficient coverage, take a few other measures to secure your home. To avoid returning to any surprises, take time before leaving to prepare your home and make it look uninviting to burglars. Use this home vacation preparation checklist prior to leaving:

  • Turn off the water to toilets, washing machines and icemakers.
  • Put the water heater on “vacation” mode.
  • Unplug small appliances and electronic devices.
  • Change your thermostat to a temperature closer to the weather outside. Experts recommend no more than 78-80 degrees when its warmer in the summertime and not lowering the temperature below 60-65 when it is cooler in the winter.
  • Double check that all doors and windows are secured.
  • Stop the newspaper and mail.
  • Install a motion-light outdoors.
  • Put at least one light in your house on a timer.
  • Make sure your yard is cut before leaving and stays trimmed if gone for an extended period of time.
  • Notify your credit card company and home security company that you’ll be out of town.
  • Dispose of any food that could go bad before you return from vacation.
  • Take out the kitchen trash.

A lot can happen while you’re away, from power surges to leaks to intruder attempts. One of the most common claims filed while families are on vacation is water damage. That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to ensure that your home is protected.