So you've made sure your home insurance policy is in place and covers everything that you need with your Bearce insurance agent - now what? There's lots of steps you can take to protect your investment, and prevent the need to file a claim with your homeowner's policy in the first place. Read on below for our top tips to secure your home.

  1. Update Exterior Lighting. Replace any dead lightbulbs, and add motion-activated lights and timers. You can also switch to solar-powered lighting along footpaths to conserve energy.
  2. Set up a security system. There are many options for home security. When considering what system may be best for you, keep in mind what equipment you’ll need such as door contacts or security cameras, upfront and monthly costs, extras like smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring, and customer service/brand reputation. Once you do have an alarm system installed, be sure to send a copy of your alarm certificate to your home insurance agent – you may qualify for a discount off your insurance premium.
  3. Secure your wireless network. Hackers can find ways into your home through your connected devices via your personal electronic devices/computers. Be sure to use strong passwords on all your online accounts, set up a password on your wireless router and install anti-virus and anti-malware software on all computers.
  4. Reinforce windows and doors. Some options include window or glass break sensors, window bars, deadbolts and creative landscaping such as prickly bushes placed under first floor windows.
  5. Keep your garage safe. Bring your garage door openers from your car into the house. If you use a security code to open your garage, make sure you keep it secret and never enter it in front of anyone who does not live in the house. Cover garage windows to hide the contents and consider securing garage doors with extra locks.
  6. ​Eliminate hiding places. Don't make it easy for thieves to deter your new alarm system's cameras. Remove piles, debris and other objects that could act as cover.
  7. Use a fireproof safe to store your valuables. You can find a small safe for under $200 online. Keep important and difficult to replace documents such as your passports, social security cards, birth certificates and marriage/divorce documents as well as jewelry, family heirlooms, and artifacts in your safe to protect them in the event of a break in, fire, or flood. 

It's important to identify all the potential risks and hazards associated with your home, and plan for them. This includes neighborhood crime rates, exposure to the sea, likelihood of wildfires impacting your area, and more. With a plan in place, you can not only prevent disaster before it strikes, but recover more quickly if an emergency cannot be avoided.