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Do I need to have someone check on my home while I’m away if I have smart home monitoring?

Home Insurance

By Joanne Lemna | June 28, 2017

Smart home monitoring systems are steadily gaining popularity. These include doorbells that can tell you who’s on your front porch cameras controlled by your iPhone or Android which patrol the perimeter and interior of your house and whole house monitoring of mechanical systems including your HVAC. These platforms and systems can certainly give you that added peace of mind especially while you’re on vacation or travelling for work. But as far as your homeowner’s insurance policy is concerned are these smart home systems enough particularly if you intend to be away from your property for a prolonged period of time?

Things to Think About When You’re Going to be Away from Home

You’re all packed. You’ve checked and double-checked that list of amenities you simply must not forget. The pets are taken care of and the kids are ready to go. Now what about the house itself. It is after all going to be left vacant. What types of steps should you take to ensure that your property is protected? Will your insurance provider be satisfied with the measures you put in place to safeguard your home?

If you have a smart home monitoring system you may be thinking that since you can virtually see and hear everything that is going on in and around your house even while you’re away do you really need someone to periodically check on the place? Here’s the deal: while smart home monitoring can definitely bring you reassurance as far as your temporarily vacated home is concerned this doesn’t mean that your insurance company will accept this in lieu of having an actual person check on your property while you’re away .

Let’s say for instance that it is winter time. You and your family are vacationing. There’s a pretty severe cold snap which in turn causes one of your pipes to burst. Water is everywhere. Damage is inevitable. If there is no one coming in to check on your home then the damage significantly worsens each day that you’re gone. What may have only been a few hundred dollars in repair costs now balloons into tens of thousands of dollars as far as a full-on repair and restoration project. Odds are in this instance you will end up having to cover the lion’s share of the cost as you did not have a responsible adult checking on the property in your absence and thus you invalidated your homeowner’s coverage.

So whether the concern is theft and vandalism—as vacated homes are certainly targets for such crimes—or damage that may occur as a result of a malfunctioning system or natural disaster having a person check on your home in conjunction with your smart home monitoring devices will help to ensure that your homeowner’s insurance policy remains effective and valid should something go wrong.

Your broker can tell you what your insurance company expects while you’re away for your policy to remain effective. Discuss your options with them – and ask if your monitoring system can get you any discounts!

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