Protecting your home while on vacation

Most traveled vacation months are July and August, so no surprise these would be the two highest months for burglaries.

Although none of these are fool proof, they have help protect your home while you are away.

Secure your home.  Make sure all doors and windows are locked, even windows on the second floor.  Never store the extra key under the welcome mat, rock or in the planter.  Give a key to a trusted neighbor in case of an emergency.  Trim back bushes near the windows so there is no hiding space allowing them ease of entry.  Purchase an alarm that would contact Police and Fire Dept.  Alarms will in most cases provide you with a discount on your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Trusted neighbor.  Let your trusted neighbors know that you will be out of town and to keep an eye on your home for anything suspicious.

Make your home appear to be occupied.  Don’t let the newspaper or mail pile up.  Ask a neighbor to pick them up or have the service delayed until you return.  Set some of your indoor lights on a timer.

Social Media. Don’t share your vacation photos online, wait until you get home to post.

Insurance Policy. Talk with your Agent before you leave on vacation and know what potential losses would be covered while you are away.  Keeping an updated log of belongings helps if there was an unexpected loss or theft.

Vacation. Most important of all, enjoy yourself and have a blast!


Tips for Parents Teaching Their Kids to Drive

When your kids are ready to get behind the wheel for the first time it can be very exciting and stressful at the same time.  Regardless of their age or experience behind the wheel a young, new driver is more likely to be in an accident due to lack of experience.  Things to consider when you transition your passenger to a driver.

  1.  Have a plan, what is your destination? Will you be driving on the city roads or using the freeways. Vary the routine, take them on different roads exposing them to pedestrians, sharp turns and country roads.  Exposing them to these different driving conditions will help you advise them on what to expect behind the wheel.
  2. Practice evasive driving.  It can be as simple as setting up some cones in an empty parking lot and teaching them to brake hard avoiding the cones acting as a stopped vehicle. You can also stagger the cones and have them drive in and out of them.  Parallel parking is something you can have them work with the cones.
  3. Have fun.  This can be a white knuckled experience for the both of you.  Set up the objectives and keep it within their experience and ability.  Light and easy, let them build their confidence behind the wheel.