Insurance Claims. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 3.5 million housing units in the U.S. are for seasonal, recreational or occasional use–from big summer estates and time-share condos to A-frame structures and simple fishing cabins.
“That means these homes are unoccupied a good portion of the year,” says insurance claims expert Charles Valinotti, senior vice president, QBE Regional. He offers tips on how you can minimize property loss and damage for your home away from home:
• Team up with your neighbors–If there are other seasonal homes in your area, get to know the owners and exchange phone numbers. Keeping an eye on each other’s property is a good way to quickly learn about wind and hail damage–and take care of it before it gets worse. If a full-time resident isn’t nearby, consider hiring someone to periodically patrol your residence.
• Shut off the water–As you prepare to exit your vacation residence for the season, remember to turn off the water. Not doing so can lead to massive water damage from a burst pipe. Valinotti suggests installing an alarm system that notifies a service when water is detected or the temperature dips below a certain level. “The service will contact you, so you’ll know about problems sooner rather than later,” he says.