Protecting your vacant house.

September 2, 2014

erin_doan_agency 031514Good Neighbor Tips from Erin Doan, State Farm Insurance, Scottville. 

If your former home hasn’t sold, your vacant property could fall victim to the elements, system failure, vandalism or burglary. Take steps to lessen the risk for potentially costly issues.

  1. Maintain the exterior. Don’t let your property look neglected. Make arrangements to have your lawn mowed or, in winter, your driveway shoveled. Trim branches that could fall and damage your roof during a storm, and clean out clogged gutters to avoid water damage. Check that exterior lights are working.
  2. Take precautions inside. Install working deadbolts on exterior doors, and make sure all windows are securely locked. Set your thermostat at a constant temperature (high enough in winter to prevent freezing). Seal up pet doors to keep out pests, animals and other potential intruders.
  3. Enhance the vacant property’s security. Add motion-sensor lights and entry alarms. Keep bushes trimmed to remove potential hiding places for burglars. Close the curtains and blinds to prevent people from seeing in. Use timers for lights, and consider adding a unit that simulates a flickering TV to deter criminals.
  4. Round up support. Enlist neighbors or friends for additional vacant property protection. Ask them to alert you of any concerns and occasionally park in the driveway to help make your home seem occupied. Notify the police and the fire department that the house will be vacant, and leave your phone number with them.
  5. Protect your investment. Be aware that if your home is vacant for a month or more, your homeowners insurance may not cover losses that occur while it’s vacant. You may need to add a vacancy endorsement to your policy. Talk with your State Farm® agent about your options.

Help Fund Local News

Please consider helping us keep local news active by sending a PayPal payment.

Legally Speaking: Consent to search

WSCC: I am

Subscribe to MCP via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 21,430 other subscribers