Tips for protecting your home and car while on vacation

Whether you’re planning a quick weekend at the spa or an extended European cruise, here are some things to consider before you kick back and relax. Take a look at these tips from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) that can help you prevent thefts and damage to your home and car:

  • Inform a trusted friend or neighbour. 
    Have someone stop by your home every few days to collect mail and flyers, to verify that there’s no damage, and to check up on your car in your garage. This person should always know how to reach you in case of an emergency.
  • Inform us of extended trips. 
    If you’re planning to be away for an extended period, it’s best to contact us as there may be additional steps required to be taken to secure your property while you’re away.
  • Make it look like someone is home. 
    Have your lights turn on/off automatically while you’re away by programming your smart plugs or timers. Leave blinds and curtains open while carefully keeping valuables out of sight.
  • Don’t announce your vacation plans. 
    While it is tempting to let the world know you are taking a well-deserved trip, keep in mind that sharing too much information on social media or in emails can alert potential thieves.
  • Do a clean sweep and take inventory of your home. 
    Take some time to tidy up, toss out garbage, water your plants, and secure/put away anything out in the open in your backyard, like bicycles, gardening equipment, and barbecues. You should also take photos or videos of your home’s contents before you head out – it’s a simple way to keep a record of your possessions should you need to make an insurance claim.
  • Unplug unnecessary electronics and prep smart gadgets. 
    To avoid problems, disconnect your television, computers, sound systems, and other devices; or plug your electronics into a surge protector.
  • Not taking your car? Remove your personal documents from inside. 
    If you’re not driving your car, remove any documents with personal information from your car and store them in a safe spot in your home. Be sure to tuck the keys away somewhere out of sight. And don’t forget to return your documents to your car upon your return.
  • Know your Car Insurance Policy. 
    Read through your existing coverage to ensure that it provides everything you need to remain safely protected no matter where you’re travelling. Keep in mind that if you have auto coverage from TD Insurance it is likely that you also have our Grand Touring option which provides coverage* for the rental of a replacement vehicle if you’re involved in an accident, or if your car is vandalized or stolen. You’re also covered* for loss or damage to a rental car anywhere in Canada or the US.
  • Get road-ready. 
    Going on a road trip? Make sure that your car is ready for the long journey ahead. Visit your car mechanic and make sure the important service checks are up to date (e.g. tires, oil pressure, brakes, fluid levels). If you’re attaching a hitch or trailer to your car, check that it, and all the items inside, are secure. Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to load the maps for your destination on your GPS or mapping apps in advance. The more you know, the more you’ll feel confident on the road.

By taking the right steps before you go, you’ll be ready to enjoy your vacation.

Interested in adding Travel Insurance? We’re ready to help. We have a range of insurance options to help protect you and your family from unexpected medical costs while away and we provide 24/7 emergency assistance. For more details or to get a quote visit us here.

*Conditions and restrictions may apply. Subject to meeting eligibility criteria.

Insurance Bureau of Canada. IBC Top 10: Vacation Tips for Protecting Your Home and Car. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from