Whether you’re jumping on a jet plane or road tripping with friends, leaving your home for an extended period of time while traveling can be intimidating. You need to ensure your home is safe when you’re gone — and that means taking lots of precautions and preventive measures.

One in every two homeowners say they plan to travel away from home for at least one week this summer, according to Hippo’s Homeowner Preparedness Report.

Why is it important to take preventative measures to help protect your home?

It’s uncomfortable to imagine the worst-case scenario happening while you’re away, but preparing ahead can help minimize the risks to your home.

Completing home maintenance tasks before you travel doesn’t just help prevent accidents from happening  — it can also save you from the financial headache of covering any damages. The homeowners surveyed in the latest report have already paid an average of nearly $4,000 per household in unexpected home repairs in 2021.

When you stomp out potential problems by being proactive, you’ll help keep home repairs at bay, minimize your financial burden, and feel a greater peace of mind when you’re traveling.

Those who plan to travel this year:

  • 83% plan to check that all locks and gates are working properly prior to the trip
  • 51% plan to activate security systems or alarms
  • 13% plan to set up smart leak detectors
  • 13% plan to set up a smart lock for to offer remote access

Activate preventative smart tech to protect your home

Smart home technology is a valuable resource as a homeowner. Surveyed homeowners who plan to travel this year say they plan to activate their smart home devices, primarily for convenience (57%) and security (56%) purposes. But you can also use smart home technology for overall home protection and maintenance.

Certain devices help prevent common home issues from turning into bigger, more expensive problems. Water leaks, for example, can cause severe damage to your home, especially when left unattended, but smart leak detectors can help. You can place smart leak detectors in areas where water is known to pool, such as your basement or under your sinks, then get alerts to your phone if anything goes wrong.

If you don’t already have smart tech installed, you can equip your home with the following devices before you travel:

  • Security system (e.g. Ring, SimpliSafe, or Notion)
  • Smart leak detectors
  • Smart thermostat
  • Smart lock with remote access

Take a look at this home maintenance checklist to see if you have every item covered before you travel away from home.

4 tips to prepare your home before traveling 

Try these four strategies for better home protection before you travel:

  1. Protect your home from seasonal hazards – Proactive prevention and upkeep keeps your home in good condition all year long — and helps prevent damage and disasters. After cleaning your home for a trip, review this seasonal home maintenance checklist and take the time to prepare your home for summer conditions. Depending on where you live, that might involve clearing brush for wildfires, checking your eaves for wasp nests, or changing out your air conditioning filters.
  2.  Activate smart devices and test systems before you travel – One of the advantages of installing digital smart devices is that you can stay connected when you’re away. It’s important to set up, activate, and test all your devices before leaving to ensure they’re working properly. If you don’t know where to start, Hippo provides a complimentary smart home sensor kit with every eligible homeowners policy provided by Hippo.
  3. Do a walkthrough of your home – Before heading out on your trip for the summer, do a final walkthrough of your home to tie up any loose ends and tighten your security. Adjust your air conditioning or heating system,  turn off your water, put your lights on a timer, and check your security system. It’s also a good idea to note your home’s condition and compare it once you return from your trip.
  4. Take care of small repairs – Address any easy repairs before you leave, so they don’t turn into bigger problems. Think: tightening your faucet or patching a siding crack. If you need guidance or suggestions, Hippo’s team of Certified Home Care professionals are on hand to give DIY maintenance and repair advice.

Make sure your home is prepared to handle your travel plans. Taking a few simple steps before you travel this year can keep your home protected — and give you peace of mind while you’re away.

By Courtney Klosterman, Home Insights Expert at Hippo, the home insurance group focused on proactive protection


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