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Ways to protect your vacant house after moving

Keep your vacant home from falling victim to the elements, system failure or burglary.

Empty house interior

If your former home hasn't sold, your vacant property could fall victim to the elements, system failure, vandalism or burglary. Take steps to lessen the risk for potentially costly issues.

  • Maintain the exterior. Don't let your property look neglected. Make arrangements to have your lawn mowed, or in winter, your driveway shoveled. Trim branches that could fall and damage your roof during a storm, and clean out clogged gutters to avoid water damage. Check that exterior lights are working.
  • Take precautions with the interior. Install working deadbolts on exterior doors, and make sure all windows are securely locked. Set your thermostat at a constant temperature (high enough in winter to prevent freezing) and replace the thermostat's battery. Seal up pet doors to keep out pests, animals and other potential intruders.
  • Enhance the vacant property's security. Add motion-sensor lights and entry alarms. Keep bushes trimmed to remove potential hiding places for burglars. Close the curtains and blinds to prevent people from seeing in. Use timers for lights, and consider adding a unit that simulates a flickering TV to deter criminals.
  • Round up support. Enlist neighbors or friends for additional vacant property protection. Ask them to alert you of any concerns and occasionally park in the driveway to help make your home seem occupied. Notify the police and the fire department that the house will be vacant, and leave your phone number with them.
  • Protect your investment. Be aware that if your home is vacant for a month or more, your homeowners insurance may not cover losses that occur while it's vacant. Talk with your State Farm® agent about your options.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.



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