Life happens whether you’re at home, on the road, or in an exotic location this winter. Luckily, Ing & McKee is here to give you some peace of mind during the hectic holiday season, by making sure you’re prepared for anything life throws your way while you’re gone.

Before you head out on a trip this winter, take some time to ready your house and yourself for anything that could go wrong while you’re away.

    Clean up
    Empty any perishables from your fridge, take out the garbage, do the dishes, and make sure you haven’t left any wet clothes in the washing machine.

    Pull the plug on electronics
    Unplug small appliances, televisions, computers, and any other easy-to-unplug electronics to reduce your power bill and the risk of a fire or power surge while you’re away.

    Turn off your water
    Shut off your main water valve, flush your toilets to drain the water in the tanks, and then add some marine antifreeze to any water left in the toilet bowls to prevent leaks and flooding.

    Turn down your thermostat
    Keep your home heated to a comfortable level (around 17 degrees Celsius) to prevent frozen pipes and save on your heating bill.

    Test your smoke alarms
    Do a quick check on all of your fire alarms and make sure they all have fresh batteries before you leave.

    Ask someone to check in on your home
    Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your house by driving by or popping in every few days.

    Make your house look lived in
    Call in a favour with a friend, family member, or neighbour to shovel your sidewalks, move your trash bins on garbage day, and even move your vehicle if it’s left on the driveway.

    Use a timer for your lights
    Put one or two of your inside lights on a timer (as well as any outdoor Christmas lights) to make it look as though someone is home.

    Hide your spare key
    Remove your spare key from under the mat (or wherever you hide it) to reduce the risk that burglars will find it.

    Put any valuables in a safe
    Lock valuables like important documents, jewelry, and family mementos in a fireproof safe and hide it well.

    Close your windows and lock your doors
    Double-check that all your windows are closed and doors are locked, including locking your shed and gate with a bike lock if possible.

    Stop your mail and newspaper delivery
    Call your local newspaper and post office to put a hold on your newspaper and mail delivery if a neighbour can’t collect them for you.

    Take care of car maintenance if driving
    Put winter tires on your car, get an oil change, and check your fluid levels if you’re taking your car on a road-trip this winter.

    Don’t advertise your absence
    Keep quiet about your trip on social media so as not to advertise to would-be burglars that your house will be empty.

    Notify your credit card company
    Call your credit card company and bank to let them know when and where you’ll be travelling so that your cards don’t get flagged for suspicious purchases.

    Invest in a home security system
    Purchase a home security system or video monitoring system to keep your house secure while you’re away.

    Buy travel insurance
    Arrange for travel insurance to protect against any unexpected costs and emergency medical services while you’re travelling.

    Make sure your auto insurance is up to date if driving
    Give your insurance provider a call to make sure your auto insurance is up to date and adequate for your road-trip if you’re driving.

    Check on your health and home insurance
    Call your insurance provider to make sure your health and home insurance is up to date and adequate for your trip.

    Download the Ing & McKee app
    Put the Ing & McKee app on your phone before you leave to so you can check on your home and auto insurance should something go wrong while you’re away.

So before you travel this winter, give us a call or check out our travel insurance services. We offer a range of products and top-notch customer service that will help take the stress out of travelling during these winter months.

Because no matter where you may be venturing this winter, Ing & McKee is here.