EDMONTON, June 24, 2015 /CNW/ - With the start of the summer season, many people will celebrate the warmer weather by heading to the cottage or out of town on vacation. Before leaving the house to kick back and relax, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reminding Western Canadians to protect their homes and cars while they are away.
"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," says Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western & Pacific, IBC.
Here are IBC's top 10 tips for preparing your home and car for vacation:
- 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 your home for any damage. Make sure they know how to reach you.
- Make your home look lived in.
- Noticeable differences from your home's usual appearance can hint that you are away. Consider using timers that turn lights on and off automatically, and leave curtains and blinds as normal (removing valuables from sight).
- Disconnect electronics.
- Unplug TV sets, stereos, computers and other electronic devices, or plug them into a surge protector.
- Inspect your home before you leave.
- Put away bicycles and gardening equipment, and lock your shed. It's also helpful to keep trees and shrubs trimmed so your house is in plain view.
- Update your home inventory and take photos or videos of its contents.
- Double-check that all doors and windows in your home are locked.
- If you have a security system, set it before you go.
- If possible, load luggage into your car in your garage.
- Close car windows, lock the doors and keep keys in a safe spot.
- Don't leave car keys visible in your house. Instead, keep the keys with you.
- Remove valuables from your car.
- Keep your car registration and proof of insurance with you.
- Thieves may try to falsify information if they find your registration and proof of insurance.
- Don't announce your vacation plans in casual conversations or emails, or on social media sites.
- Social media can reach further than you expect. Don't alert potential thieves to your absence. Only post travel pictures when you return.
"As always, be sure to drive safely," adds Adams. "Avoid distracted driving and ensure that you are properly rested before hitting the road."
IBC encourages everyone to review and understand their insurance policies. If you have questions, contact your insurance representative. For more information, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.
P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.
For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada
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