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

​​August 27, 2014 (Toronto) – Before you head out the door for one last summer getaway, take the time to protect your home and car while you’re away. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) offers its IBC Top 10: Tips to Prepare Your Home and Car While on Vacation.

“If you take 15 minutes to check off each point on the IBC Top 10 list, you’ll go a long way to preventing thefts and accidents that could damage your biggest assets – your home and car,” said Ralph Palumbo, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. 

IBC’s top 10 tips to prepare 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 distracted driving and ensure that you are properly rested before hitting the road,” added Palumbo.

Insurance Coverage

IBC encourages everyone to review and understand their insurance policies. If consumers have questions, they should contact their insurance representative. For further information, individuals can also contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-387-2880​​​.

​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 P&C insurance market in Canada. The private 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.

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