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Holiday Travel: Protect Your Home While You’re Away

Christmas Wreath_

Many people will leave their homes over the upcoming holiday to visit family or go on vacation. If your holiday plans include traveling – even just for a short period – here are some tips to help keep your home safe while you are away: 

1.  Outside
Make it look like you’re home by using timers on interior and exterior lights. If winter weather is expected in your area, arrange for snow removal or other appropriate services so that it is not obvious that you are away. Hold your mail and stop your newspaper delivery, or ask a friend or neighbor to pick them up daily.

2.  Vehicles
Keep your car(s) wherever you would normally, that way it looks like you’re still home. 

3.  Water
Install an automatic water leak detection and water shut off system or simply turn off the main water valve before departing. This step can save you huge headaches and costs if a pipe bursts you have an interior leak while you’re away.

4.  People you trust
Ask a trusted neighbor, friend or family member to keep an eye on your property. Having someone stop by can go a long way to eliminating risks.

5.  Windows and doors
Make sure exterior doors are secured with a heavy deadbolt or security bar.

6.  Social media
Don’t post your vacation plans or photos on social media. Criminals often scan social media to see if people are away.

7.  Valuables
Make sure your valuables are safe, secure and hidden. Keep fine art, expensive electronics or other valuables away from windows. Store jewelry in a safety deposit box or safe.

8.  Safety and security
Set your home alarm and contact your alarm company to let them know you’ll be out of town.

9.  Appliances and electronics
Turn off washing machines, dryers and dishwashers. Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics. Don’t risk having water problems or damage from a power surge that won’t be taken care of for days or weeks. 

Our Scott Personal Insurance team is dedicated to helping you protect your home and all of your other personal insurance coverage needs. Contact us to learn about our rare mix of agency strength and personal insurance expertise.


The home safety tips included above are courtesy of the Travel Protected resource from Chubb.

What Drives Personal Auto Insurance Rates?

Auto Coverage

If you drive a vehicle, you are required by law to have personal auto insurance. But why do we need it?

Consider hitting a car and injuring three passengers. If both your vehicle and the other vehicle are valued at $20,000 and considered total losses, and each passenger has medical claims of $20,000, this quickly adds up to $100,000! That’s an amount most individuals wouldn’t want to have to include in their annual budgets.

The function of insurance is to accept the risk from many people to pay for the losses of the few. Personal auto insurance protects drivers from having to personally pay for all the damages they are responsible for resulting from an auto accident. Even though you paid your insurance company much less in premiums, the insurance company pays these higher amounts on your behalf based on your policy coverage.  

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Top Risk Concerns for Businesses and Individuals

Business leaders and consumers share many common concerns, according to data compiled from the 2016 Travelers Risk Index. The annual survey found that cyber risk is still considered one of the greatest risks facing both Americans and American businesses. And while businesses worry more about the implications of getting hacked, consumers are primarily concerned about personal privacy loss, identity fraud and cyber threats.

Top Business Risk Concerns

Medical cost inflation, increasing employee benefit costs and cyber-related technology risks/data breaches again topped the Travelers Risk Index for business concerns in 2016, although the overall proportion who felt the business environment is becoming more risky declined slightly from 2015 to 2016, from 44 percent to 41 percent. 

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Personal Insurance Consumer Risk Index Concern Over Cyber Risk Increases More than 20 Percentage Points from Previous Year

According to the 2015 Consumer Risk Index from Travelers, financial risk continues to top the list of major concerns for Americans. However, fear over cyber risk has grown considerably, making it one of the top three consumer risks in 2015.

Cyber Risk – There has been a dramatic increase in how many Americans worry about cyber risk, from 36% in 2014 to 57% in 2015. Leading the list of specific cyber risk concerns is the fear of bank accounts being hacked (62%).

Financial Concerns & Risks – Americans list financial security as their top concern for the third straight year. Of the 66% that worry about this issue, almost half worry a great deal.

Personal Privacy or Identity Theft – Six out of ten Americans worry about losing personal information or privacy, with 25% worrying a great deal.

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