summer homes that need protecting

Protecting your summer home is important, since you do not occupy it year-round and according to the Department of Justice, household crime tends to be higher in the summer than during other seasons of the year.

According to Statista, 9.26 million households own a second home in the US, and many of these are for seasonal use. If you’re one of these people, here are 4 key ways you can protect your summer home.

Hire a Caretaker

You don’t have to spend a fortune or a property manager. Instead, recruit a neighbor or friend that lives year-round in the area. Provide them with your phone number and let them know when you send workers to your property. Have them pick up anything left on the doorstep and care for the yard too. If they see any suspicious characters lurking around your property they can call the authorities.

If there’s a neighborhood watch group in your area, let them know when you’re leaving so they can keep a close eye on your place. If neither of these is a possibility, at the very least stop mail service and have someone cut the lawn so that the home doesn’t look vacant.

Secure the Premises

Put a radio on a timer and tune it to a talk show to make it appear someone is on the property. Add a timer to a table lamp away from windows, too.

Secure all but one door by using foot locks that run into the floor.

Install lights equipped with motion sensors or timers in a location that a thief can’t reach with a ladder. Smart security cameras allow you to monitor your home via your smartphone and they’re reasonably-priced, too. Also, consider adding a security system with remote monitoring capabilities to ensure that the authorities are notified if there’s ever a break in or fire.

Minimize visibility from the windows, but don’t shut your place up like a tomb. You want it to seem like you’re there, but you don’t want a burglar to have a clear view throughout your home.

Unplug appliances, turn off the AC, and never hide a key on the premises. Try not to store valuables such as jewelry on the property and keep any important documents in a fireproof safe.

Keep a Low Profile

Only tell the person or company caring for your property the precise times you’ll arrive and leave. Don’t post photos on social media sites until you return and don’t use the “check-in” feature either.

These sites collect as much data as possible and update settings frequently so you could unintentionally share your whereabouts with strangers. Thieves could target your primary or summer home while you’re away.

Review Insurance Coverages

Many people simply renew their coverage and pay their premiums without considering the implications. Upgrades and increased property values can increase the value of your summer home and your policy may not reflect this.

An annual review of your Massachusetts homeowners insurance coverage ensures you have the protection you need and eliminates insurance gaps. The last thing you want to discover is a lack of coverage when you experience a loss.