'Tis the Season

I can’t believe 2018 has whizzed by so quickly and we are just days away from Christmas!! For many of us, this time of year is a busy one with vacations, visiting family, and shopping for gifts and presents.

Here are some tips to protect you and your loved ones during the holidays.

Keep your Home Safe: If you are travelling out of town and will be away from your home, it is important to arrange for someone to check-in on your residence every 3-4 days. Remember to turn off all faucets and furnaces before you leave on an extended trip. Arrange to have your snow removed and your mail collected while you’re away. Unplowed driveways, uncollected newspapers or a mailbox overflowing with mail is a giveaway sign that someone is not home.

Light It Up!: Many homes are well adorned with Christmas decorations and lights, but a creative and inexpensive way to deter property crime is to purchase a timer that will switch on a light in an inner room of your home. This creates the illusion that someone is home and can be a good deterrent to potential house thieves! I also recommend keeping your blinds and curtains closed so thieves scoping out a home are not able to peer in and assess your valuables before breaking-in. Better to err on the side of caution

Lock Your Vehicle: Many of us will be out and about doing our Christmas shopping. Don’t forget to lock your vehicle in the parking lot. This may seem like common sense but so many cars today have keyless entry fobs and drivers continuously forget to “lock” the car doors.

Use the Trunk: I also recommend parking in well lit areas and storing any expensive personal items or purchases in the trunk of your car. Remove any loose change from the cup-holder and visible areas of your car. Typically car thieves target cars that have such items lying around. Don’t make yourself and your car an easy target. Car break-ins are more a nuisance and you certainly don’t want to be driving a car in the winter with a smashed window!

Fraud: Identity theft and fraud are so prevalent these days. Prevent yourself from falling victim to it. An RFID wallet is a great way to prevent someone illegally obtaining info from you. Be cautious when a stranger asks for personal information. When making purchases, use your credit and debit cards in a secure manner by shielding the passcode when you enter the pin. If you are a victim of Identity Theft, contact your bank, credit card & insurance providers right away so we can mitigate its exposure! Allstate clients with homeowner policies automatically have the Identity Theft and Legal Protection coverage. For a quote with Allstate, contact me today!

Travel Insurance: Whether you are travelling out of province or out of the country, make sure you are covered by an insurance plan in the event of a medical emergency or an unexpected change in travel plans. I remember the story of someone who travelled to the U.S. one weekend for a round of golf as a pre-retirement present. He suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized for two weeks. When he returned, he received a medical bill that was almost a million dollars! Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. Invest in a travel insurance plan for a trip that would ensure your peace of mind! At Allstate, we partner with TuGo to provide you a seamless one-stop shop for travel insurance coverage. Contact me today if you would like a quote for travel insurance!

Drink Responsibly: Lastly, many of us will be attending holiday parties over the month. Remember always to arrange alternative transportation if you plan on drinking. Drinking-and-Driving are not two activities that go hand-in-hand. We have many choices today including taxi companies, Uber, Lyft, or even a private car service. The penalty for DUI is severe and affects your insurance premiums in the longer term!

“All opinions and views expressed in this blog are of my own and do not represent the views of Allstate Insurance Co. of Canada.”