You can feel it in the air. You can see it in the longterm forecast. Retail shelves are already stocked full of beach towels, sand buckets, and sunscreen. Summer is on the way. And while its arrival is one to celebrate, it does come with a set of insurance and liability concerns that your household needs to be mindful of. Thankfully, Park Insurance is coming to the rescue (Baywatch style) with some helpful advice on how you can enjoy an endless (and claim-free) summer.
5-Step Guide to Keeping Households Claims-Free Through the Entire Summer Season
1. Summer-Smart Driving on Your Road Trip
Chances are you’re hitting the road for vacation or summer long weekends. This is where you need to be diligent in keeping your household safe from harm and liability concern. Even if you exhibit the characteristics of a good driver, you’re not perfect. Things happen, especially in the summer months when the roads and highways are packed with vacationers who may be new to a locale or highway system.
You will get tired on your road trip. It’s an inevitability on those long hot days. Driving while fatigued is one of the top culprits in highway accidents. Nip this potential in the bud before hitting the road. Take a nap before a long drive. Avoid foods that bring on drowsiness. Drive when your body clock is at its best. To learn more, keep your headlights on these 5 tips to keep you awake while driving.
Distracted driving is also a leading cause of accidents. Take the necessary precautions. Avoid talking/texting, adjusting auto-tech settings, and anything else that takes your eyes off the road or both hands off of the wheel. View more on how to prevent common driver distractions. Of course, not all distractions are as obvious. These include conversing with passengers and thinking about daily stresses. Take a more in-depth look at unanticipated driver distractions to make sure you’re not guilty of any of them.
In addition, many households are headed out on the Great Canadian Road Trip this summer in a Recreational Vehicle (RV). Alternatively, you may be towing a trailer. These come with their own unique set of preparedness plans. Follow these four tips to RV and trailer safety to ensure your excursion is a safe and claims-free one.
2. Keep Your Vacated Home Safe
Summer vacations and weekend trips leave households concerned about the safety of their vacated home. But there is a lot you can do to abate this worry.
For one, avoid telling the world (burglars included) that you’re away on vacation through your social media activity. From there, follow these tips to crime-proofing your home. But there are other threats.
Almost every household has experienced coming home to a flooded bathroom, kitchen, or worse. It’s one thing for this to happen while you’re at work. It’s another when you’ve been away on an extended summer trip or even a full day of activities. On the interior, have your water systems (tank, pipes, etc.) inspected and repair caulking around bathtubs, sinks, and toilets as needed, before the season. On the outside, clean and repair gutters/downspouts and weatherproof the trim and siding of your home’s exterior. View more from our guide to keeping your home safe from water damage.
There’s also nothing quite as frightening as the threat of a household fire while you’re away. Run through this 5 item checklist to make sure that your home remains safe from fire while you’re out of town this summer.
3. Keep Your Summer Vacation Home Safe
Some of you have summer homes. This property is also is a primary concern. Protective measures include building relationships with your temporary neighbors (who reside there all year) and keeping the property in good order by having someone maintain it to ensure that the yard, pathways, and any other injury-prone zones are clear. Otherwise, the same rules for standard homeownership apply, which includes following best practices regarding crime-proofing in addition to water and fire damage concerns discussed above. For a more detailed look at how to keep your summer home free from liability concerns, check out our 5-step guide here.
4. Claim-Free Airbnb
If you have a home or vacation property for rent on a homestay/home-sharing service such as Airbnb, you have liability concerns. These concerns are mirrored by your own day to day concerns regarding break-ins, water, and fire damage. However, they are compounded by the fact that someone else is residing (temporarily) on your property. They won’t exercise the same level of caution as you do. In fact, they themselves may open you up to liability claims. While there are service protection plans in place (through Airbnb, etc.) these plans come with a long list of terms & conditions that leave you confused about what is and isn’t protected. So be sure to reference these 3 key tips to protecting your homestay/home-sharing vacation rental this summer.
5. Worry-Free on the Water
If you’re one of the fortunate few to have a boat, then you know how exciting the summer can be. You also understand the liability concerns. To keep them at bay, make sure that you have your Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC) and consider taking a refresher course with a BC chapter of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron. Also take the time to read a copy of Canada’s Marine Liability Act. Avoid common acts that can cancel your boat insurance policy, which include the consumption of alcohol and reckless boating. Lastly, make sure that your boat is equipped with personal flotation devices and manual propelling devices (paddles or oars). View more from our 4-step guide on how to avoid liability concerns when operating a watercraft.
Conclusion – One of the best things you can do before the arrival (or at the onset) of the summer, is to take this list and sit down with an independent insurance broker. You can run through everything that applies to your household, and make sure that you have adequate coverage for every person, place, and possession impacted by your summer season agenda. Contact Park Insurance today to ensure that you indeed enjoy a proverbial endless summer in the months ahead.