How to Keep Your Home Safe From Burglary While on Vacation

family packing for a vacation

When it’s time to pack up your suitcase and head out of a town for some much-needed R&R, the last thing you want to think about is your home’s security. In reality, however, burglars prey on houses that are obviously left unattended for extended periods of time. Taking a few simple steps before you leave town can ensure that your home and property remains intact while you are away, both from trespassers and home disasters.

Be Mindful on Social Media

You’d be surprised what people take note of on social media. Don’t publicize specifics about going out of town before or during your trip. Likewise, if you receive expensive gifts over the holidays and are soon leaving town, don’t post them on your account. Burglars look for easy targets like these.

Keep Valuables out of Sight

Close your blinds and curtains before you leave, so outsiders can’t see what’s inside. This won’t just prevent burglars from spotting valuables, such as electronics. It will also make it more difficult for them to view additional points of entry to break into.

Forward Mail and Packages

If you are expecting packages from online shopping or know your mailbox will be overflowing before your return, take the time to temporarily forward your mail to your work or a friend’s house. Packages left unattended on the front porch are not only at risk of being stolen. They are a sure sign that no one is home to retrieve them.

Have a Neighbor Watch Your Home

Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to stop by your home a few times throughout your trip. They can turn on the lights, move your car, or simply ensure that everything looks secure. Giving the impression that someone has been home is an effective deterrent to thieves.

Use Light Sensors and Timers

Installing timers and motion sensors on indoor and outdoor lights is an effective security strategy. It will make sure that anyone lurking around your yard or house is seen, as well as indicate to any potential burglars that someone might be home. 

Don’t let your vacation end on a sour note by coming home to an empty or ransacked house. With these simple steps, you can reduce the risks of theft while you’re away. However, even the most cautious vacationers can experience a burglary or home invasion. Talk to our team today about the right home insurance coverage to give you more peace of mind.

Summer Preparedness: Part 1: Vacation

You’d think preparing to go on vacation would be as tranquil as the vacation.  Too often it’s not.  The hectic days leading up to vacation time include preparing for the departure from home and office and preparing for the vacation. 

Here’s some tips that might help you prepare more efficiently…and more calmly…for your vacation.

PACKING
The dreaded packing of the suitcase ritual can make anyone crazy!   Prepare for your packing process well in advance.  After all, many of the clothes you’ll take on vacation are not the clothes you wear everyday, are they?   Spend 20 minutes a week for the three weeks in advance of your vacation and pack small amounts at a time.  Setup your suitcase in one spot, where you won’t move it.  Then add to the suitcase in small increments. 

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
Passports, credit cards, plane/train tickets, printed itineraries need to be collected well in advance and stored together.   Any office supply store has perfect sized, closeable plastic envelopes and containers that  are ideal for collecting your important travel documents into a single convenient location.  Try to use a bright color for the container so it’s easy to find in a hurry, or in the dark.   If all else fails, a resealable plastic storage bag, the kind you use in your kitchen, is a great solution too.

PHONE NUMBERS
In your address book on your Smartphone, create a new address category where you can save important phone numbers for easy access.  This way, in the event of an urgent phone call  you can pop open a single address category and access all the numbers you’ll need to call, text or email.  Remember, you’re on vacation!  If you have to make urgent contact with folks back home, you’ll want to do it quickly so you can get back to the real work of relaxing!

HOME SECURITY
Checklists are the best way to efficiently prepare your home for your absence.  Windows locked? CHECK.  Alarm company notified of vacation dates? CHECK.  Lamp timers installed and correctly set to match sunrise, sunset? CHECK.   Think like an airline pilot: create a checklist and review the checklist at least two weeks before you leave for your vacation, and then once more the night before or morning of your departure.

INSURANCE
Preparing your insurance for your vacation may be the easiest part of your holiday preparations.  One call to your Independent Insurance Agent to review your insurance policies can help you determine what you have, what you will need, what you’re covered for while you’re away on vacation.

Call us today to be prepared to vacation without a worry.

Call now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329.

Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

The Top 3 Summer Insurance Claims

Here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency, we want to make sure that your valuables stay safe. That’s why we are constantly offering blogs with safety tips for our customers. And if something does go wrong, our top of the line insurance policies will help you get back to normal quickly. If you’re interested, here is a short list of some of the most common insurance claims that we see in the summer time:

  • Car Accidents – Sure, these accidents happen all year round, but in the summer more people are on the road, whether they’re going to enjoy a day at the park or going on a road trip. This increased traffic leads to an increase in auto insurance claims.
  • BBQ Fires – When the weather warms up, so do the grills! Barbequing is a great way to get family and friends together to enjoy the outdoors, but can be a hazard if the proper safety procedures aren’t followed.
  • Burglaries and Break-ins – Summer is a great time to go on vacation. Unfortunately, burglars know this, and that’s why crimes like these are more common in June, July, and August. Prevent a break-in by following these safety tips. You should also check to make sure that your home insurance is ready for a claim – just in case.

For more information on how to avoid claims like the ones listed above, make sure that you check our blogs regularly. And if you’re interested in getting a Massachusetts insurance quote, just call 617-298-0655 to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable agents.

Best and Worst Places to Store Your Wedding Rings

When you get married, you may think that you will never take your wedding rings off. And while some people don’t, many prefer to err on the side of caution occasionally, like when things in the kitchen get messy (mixing meatloaf or kneading dough), when using harsh cleaning products, or when exercising.

If you are the kind of person that occasionally takes your ring or rings off, where do you put it? Here are some tips on what to do (and what not to do) with your precious jewelry:

  • DO store your rings in a fabric pouch or a ring box
  • DO put your rings in a memorable place
  • DON’T put your rings on the edge of a sink or counter
  • DO opt for a drawer where the rings can’t fall into the drain or trash
  • DON’T leave your rings in a locker when you’re at the gym
  • DON’T put your rings in your pocket – they could fall out or go through the wash
  • DO thread your rings onto a necklace if you need to take them off in a pinch

To make sure that your expensive jewelry is protected, ask your Massachusetts insurance agent about using a jewelry rider. This rider is typically an addition to your home insurancerenters insurance or condominium insurance that covers expensive items, like jewelry, art, collections, and more. This is especially important because your home or renters insurance may not fully protect expensive items like these – call 617-298-0655 and ask your insurance agent for a full explanation.

What to Do After a Break-In

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It’s a nightmare come true for every homeowner – you come in from being away only to find that your home has been broken into. Once the initial shock wears off, what should you do? Here are four steps that you can take to start down the road to normalcy:

Immediately Call the Police

The first thing that you should do is immediately call the police. Wait outside or at a neighbor’s home for the police to arrive, and do not touch anything in your home until the police are able to investigate. File a police report, and keep a copy for insurance purposes.

Talk to Your Insurance Agent

Your insurance provider will want to know about the break in right away, and may want to send an adjuster to assess the damage. They will likely need a copy of the police report, as well as a list of the items that were stolen or damaged.

Begin the Cleaning and Repairs

It can be very emotional to have your home invaded. When you finally need to start the process of cleaning up, consider rearranging the furniture or painting the walls to make the space feel fresh and new. This could help you and your family overcome some of the bitter emotions that often come with this kind of event.

Evaluate Your Home’s Security

If your home security system could use an upgrade, now is the perfect time to do so. Your local insurance agent may be able to help you get a discount on your home insurance policy if you have certain security features installed, such as a monitored security system and video surveillance.