How to Protect Your Holiday Home When You’re Not There

View from the top of the valley of a red bungalow cottage overlooking a lake.

13 Apr 2017

Posted in:  Insurance and Insure my Home

If you’re lucky enough to own a holiday home, there’s really nothing quite like the feeling of having a special place you can escape to whenever you want. But as much as you'd love to spend every waking hour at your getaway spot, you do have to go back to the daily grind at some stage. And when you do, you want to make sure it’s protected. Here are some simple tips for keeping your holiday home safe – all year round.

Get It Winter Ready

protecting a holiday home in winter

If you’re leaving your holiday home unoccupied over the winter months, there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t have any nasty surprises when you return in the summer. First, make sure all the utilities, like water and gas, are turned off. Next, make sure all pipes are completely drained so that there is no water left in the system which can lead to burst pipes.

If you do intend to return to the house over the winter, it’s best to leave the heating on at a low level to ensure your pipes don’t freeze. And remember, you should also service your boiler annually to ensure it’s running efficiently. If you’re not sure about anything to do with your water system, why not call a local plumber and get some expert advice?

Before you leave for the winter, it’s also a good idea to get the outside of your property shipshape so it’s looking its best when you return. Give that lawn a mow, take care of any weeds and tackle those autumn leaves. Believe us, you’ll be grateful when summer comes around and your garden looks blooming brilliant.

Beating the Burglars

ways to protect your holiday home from burglars

Perhaps your biggest concern when leaving your holiday home unoccupied is that someone will break in while you’re away. However, there are a few things you can do to give you added peace of mind. It may seem obvious, but double check that all doors and windows are locked before you leave. Installing an alarm is also an excellent deterrent, and if you’re keeping any valuables on the property a secure safe is a great investment.

Last, but not least, befriend your neighbours! One of the best ways of keeping your home secure is having someone next door to keep an eye on things. Let the neighbours know your schedule, and they’ll be able to alert you if somebody’s there when they shouldn’t be.

Preparing for Renters

tips for preparing your holiday home for rental

If you’re thinking of renting out your holiday home when you’re not there, there are a few things you should be aware of. Make sure you completely satisfy yourself about the character of potential renters – don’t be afraid to request an interview in person or at the very least on the phone. It’s also a good idea to take the time to write up a comprehensive rental agreement. It should cover everything from check-in times to the rental period, pet policies and more. This will make sure there’s no disagreements when it’s time for your guests to leave.

Finally, never leave keys hidden around the property. You may think you’ve hidden your key where no one can find it, but why take the risk? Buying an electronic key safe is one of the best security decisions you can make.

Need Some Added Peace of Mind?

Smart Retreat Holiday Home Insurance from AIB provides cover for privately owned holiday homes for personal use or rental. It can protect your home’s contents and pay the full replacement cost for damage caused by fire, storms, burst pipes and more.

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is an agent of AIB Insurance Services Limited in relation to provision of general insurance products. AIB Home Insurance is exclusively underwritten by AXA Insurance dac. AIB Insurance Services Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.

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