How To Prevent Your Home Being Broken Into

Whether you’re leaving your home for a week or for a year, leaving your house on it’s own leaves it susceptible to being broken in to. This is obviously a highly unpleasant experience and can result in the theft of items and the damage of property. While you may have home insurance and contents insurance to cover these things, it’s still going to be a highly disturbing event that leaves you feeling unsafe in your own home and it will still be stressful to repair as well as increasing the rate on your home insurance. Furthermore, some things that get stolen are completely un-replaceable hard drives containing old photos or your life’s work, or sentimental jewellery etc. It’s important then if you’re going away to make sure that no one will be able to break into your house, and to leave deterrents that will hopefully mean they don’t try and move on to easier targets.

The first line of defence when leaving your house is to make sure that you don’t leave anything open or leave any keys in sight. Many people hide a set of keys under a doormat or plant pot that they use in case they manage to forget them or lock themselves out. While this might seem like a good idea for those reasons, it can also help a burglar to get in if they manage to find them, and it normally doesn’t take long to do a sweep of the perimeter. Similarly some people leave windows open to ‘air’ the house or again to help themselves get in should they leave keys. This again though makes it very easy for someone to climb in should they notice the window, or even to reach in in order to open a smaller window. Even if the ones you leave open are high up, bare in mind that it’s not unlikely for thieves to come prepared and bring a ladder.

There are also additions you can make to your house that will further help to deter criminals. If you have a long front drive for example, then a large pair of wrought iron gates, or large wooden ones, will help to convince them that there are easier targets. The idea here is not that they can’t break into the gates, but that they would much sooner try somewhere where there’s no such obstacle at all. Additionally, if you go for the wooden option, they won’t be able to get as good a view of the house and so won’t be tempted in the first place. While the gates themselves may be susceptible to damage, these will be covered by your home insurance. Inside the house an alarm can also make a great investment and can be enough to scare someone away who’s trying to break in or to alert the neighbours to a problem. Again, if they hear the alarm going off as you yourself come and go that too will dissuade them from trying your house to start with.

Another way to deter crime is to create the impression that someone’s home as an empty house is practically advertising itself to local criminals. If you’re only going out for a few hours and you can afford the electricity bill then you should always leave at least one light or the TV on. If you’re going for longer you can set your lights on auto-timer or ask a neighbour to come round and turn them on and off for you. A neighbour can also be useful for removing large piles of post that can built up by the door or postbox. With all these things in place no one will know the house is empty you can then go away confidently and enjoy your trip without worrying about your property.

Home Insurance Protecting Your Biggest Asset

Home insurance is a must if you own your home, but what do you need to know prior to purchasing insurance? Some of the most important factors are as follows: replacement value of your home, your \”risk\” rating, whether or not you are located in a flood plain and types of discounts you may be eligible for.

Your home should be insured for the amount of replacement value, but how do you know what that amount is? A builder should be able to assist you. For a small fee, they can go through the house and provide an estimate. Make sure the builder takes into consideration any special moldings, plaster wall treatments, stone work for fireplaces, etc when he is making the final estimate. Otherwise, the costs will be figured using a modern, low cost alternative.

Your insurance premium is based on \”risk factors\” that include such things as your occupation, cost to build in the area, where your house is located, what you own, and how you live. Do you have a family dog? What breed is it? Does your house have a pool? Do you have a trampoline or hot tub? Is your house located in a storm zone or a high crime area? Certain materials can reduce your premium such as stone or brick in high storm areas, but the cost of these materials directly affect your premium since your insurance will be used to rebuild your house in the event of a claim. These factors are all considered when determining your premium.

Your basic home insurance policy doesn’t necessarily cover all claim situations. For instance, if you live in a flood plain, you will need an additional policy to cover floods because most home insurance policies do not cover flooding. Another example would be additional policies required for earthquakes in California or hurricanes in Florida (although most policies in Florida contain a separate rider for hurricanes at a higher deductible).

Many home insurance policies offer discounts toward the premiums for various home upgrades. For example, in areas that are prone to windstorms, discounts are offered for storm shutters, reinforcing your roof, or other improvements to your home to help withstand storm damage. Discounts are also offered for burglar alarms, smoke detectors, and installing dead-bolts. Larger discounts are offered for monitored sprinkler systems, fire alarms, and burglar systems. Some states even offer discounts for citizens over the age of 55 and for policy holders that have remained loyal for at least 6 years. Be careful though because the amount of the discount may not be enough to offset a better price from a different company.

Make sure when the time comes to purchase a new house that you consider the cost of the home insurance. Shop around and compare prices. Also, check out the company that you are going to use. Determine the time that the company takes to pay claims and the overall stability of the company. No bargain price is a bargain if the company isn’t stable enough to pay your claims. Do your homework and you can get very affordable home insurance.