Long weekends in BC may not mean as much in the autumn and winter, but when spring arrives and summertime nears, it takes on a whole new persona, inviting residents to take full advantage of that extra 24-hours of playtime. While these long weekends mean more travel and adventure, they also equate greater risk. In anticipation of these mini-vacations to come, Park is here to provide you with some guidance on how to reduce your safety and liability concerns.
5 Tips to Mitigating the Risk of Long Weekend Activities in BC this Spring and Summer
1. A New Seasonal Set of Driver Safety Concerns
Victoria Day long weekend launches the season, but before you celebrate its arrival, note that ICBC reports that there are nearly 500 injuries and almost 2000 crashes in B.C. over the Victoria Day long weekend. The number stays fairly consistent through Canada Day (a long weekend this year), British Columbia Day long weekend, and Labour Day long weekend. The reason for these concerning statistics? Simply put, there are way more people on the road, and not all of them drive responsibly.
You will want to be mindful, vigilant, and drive defensively without distraction through it all. Follow this spring season safe driving checklist, in addition to the summer driving safety tips you may not know about.
2. Protecting Your Vacant Home from Break-Ins
BC residents have plans to travel over the long weekends to come. Burglars know this, and will be on the lookout for those who fail to adequately protect their abode. Locking the doors, windows, and leaving a light on alone no longer cuts it, as thieves are more savvy than ever. This checklist to crime-proofing both the inside and outside of your home will serve you well. But there’s more, a modern problem that you may not have considered.
Criminals are using a new tool to identify vacant homes – social media. The most baffling part, is that homeowners are the ones providing them with the virtual key through their own online activity. When you announce your vacation plans on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, (etc) you are telling all who can view your profile that your home is empty and waiting for the taking. While social media blackout is an ideal solution, it is probably not realistic for most, which is why we have provided this 5-step guide to better managing your social activity (and keeping your home safe) while on vacation.
3. Protecting Your Airbnb (and Other) While Away
Long weekends can be lucrative for homeowners who offer up their pad on home-share sites such as Airbnb and VRBO. However, you introduce another level of risk to your short term vacation rental. This risk comes down to the fact that while these home-share services may have vetted renters, you cannot expect them to exercise the same level of caution in your home as you do. That means your property becomes more susceptible to water and fire damage, accidental damage, and even break-ins.
We encourage you to follow these tips to help keep your property out of harm’s way.
4. Worry Free Long Weekends on the Water
We’ve covered concerns on the road and back at home base, but long weekends at this time of the year may also impact you in another way – on the water. Many BC residents are boat owners, or at least rent one at some point through the season. If you plan on operating a watercraft, you will want to reduce your liability risk by making sure you have your Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC), know the Marine Liability Act like the back of your hand, confirm that you have adequate watercraft insurance coverage and make sure that you don’t do anything to void it. You may void your insurance coverage by consuming alcohol while operating the craft, driving recklessly, not having adequate safety supplies, and allowing someone underage to operate it. View more on how to reduce liability concerns on the water.
5. Brush Up on All of Your Policies (or Lack Thereof?)
This last point may be broad, but it is evidently essential. It turns out that 23 percent of Canadians don’t fully understand what their insurance policies cover, while 42 percent have been surprised by something on their insurance policy when it came time to file a claim. An additional 57 percent admit that they don’t keep a detailed inventory of their valuables, and only 29 percent bother to update their insurance policy after making a major purchase. The list goes on, and the knowledge gap grows.
Take note of everything and anything that can happen during your household’s long weekend adventures and tie-it to a type of policy. This means you need to revisit your travel medical insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance, and automobile insurance policies at the very least. And if you own a business, you had best revisit your commercial policy too before the next long weekend arrives.
Contact Park Insurance today for assistance and an independent broker assessment on all of the above.