Protect Your Vacant House

Protect Your Vacant House bb3 May 13, 2014

By Staff Writer

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If your former home hasnít 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. Donít 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 itís vacant. You may need to add a vacancy endorsement to your policy. Talk with your State Farmģ agent about your options.

* Discount availability and amounts may vary by jurisdiction.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.