While most of us look forward to the lazy dog days of summer and extra time vacationing with family and friends, others use this time to burglarize. In fact, according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, most burglaries happen in the summertime between the June and August – and most happen between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when homeowners are commonly away from home.
There are several things a homeowner can do to limit their risk of being burglarized. First, install a security system or hire a service as soon as possible. Alarms.org says homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be broken into and burglarized. Additionally, the FBI reports 83% of would-be burglars check for the presence of an alarm system before attempting a break-in. So, protect your home and family with one of these systems – and you also can save money on your homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Florida’s attorney general offers these additional tips to homeowners:
- Invest in solid doors and good quality locks on doors and windows.
- Whenever you go outside, lock the door and take the key with you, even if you are just stepping next door or out mowing the back yard.
- Don’t put valuables where they can be seen from the window, especially items that can be easily carried.
- Be sure your garage door can be secured and don’t leave it open when you are away.
- Use a timer to turn interior lights on and off when you are not home.
- Don’t keep large amounts of cash or valuable jewelry around the house.
- Don’t hide a spare key under the door mat or under a flower pot.
- Plant thorny bushes under all windows. Trim back trees or shrubs near doors and windows to eliminate hiding places for would-be thieves.
- Always double check doors at night and lock all windows.
- Engrave all valuables such as stereos, microwaves, and videocameras, with your driver’s license number.
- Videotape the contents of your home, then keep the video and a list of all valuables in a safety deposit box or other secure place.
It’s also important to understand what personal items are covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Most insurance policies cover personal property such as furniture, jewelry, clothing, movies, linens, appliances, silverware, and electronics. However, these policies may also contain limitations leaving large gaps in your coverage.
Ask your agent for a policy review and to see if it makes sense to purchase replacement cost coverage to help with repair or replacement costs of your belongings.