As we grow older, we accumulate more and more valuable things. It seems like just yesterday that we were in college, broke or perhaps even in debt, with nothing to lose – now, suddenly, we wake up surrounded by things that we would hate to lose. Aside from our loved ones, who are of course the most important of all, we may have accumulated family heirlooms, art, jewelry, hobby equipment, and much more. All of these things have value, and all of them deserve the best protection possible. Here’s how to give it to them.
Protecting your home
Your home is where you’ll keep most of your valuable possessions. It’s also where thieves will look for opportunities to rob you. So make sure that your home is secure!
Your home security needs may vary depending on where you live and whether you live in a home, apartment, or condo. But, generally, there are a few things you need to consider.
- Locked tight. Your home should be protected by locks. That doesn’t just mean regular door locks – those are easily picked by skilled thieves. You’ll want a deadbolt, too, on any door that faces a public area (or the hallway of your apartment building. Similarly, you’ll want locked windows – yes, even on the second floor.
- Cause for alarm. An alarm system is a common protective measure, and it’s a great idea. A good alarm can scare away a would-be burglar, and even more daring criminals will be foiled when the police arrive. Speak to your alarm company about options for alarming doors, windows, and more.
- Hide and go seek. If criminals break into your home, they’ll head straight for the places where they expect to find valuables. That means your bedroom and your jewelry boxes, your desk and your cash and credit cards, your entertainment area and your laptops, tablets, and iPods. So if you’re going away for a time (or even if you’re not), it’s a good idea to put some things where the bad guys won’t look. Hide your best jewelry outside of your jewelry box, so that it might survive when the thieves grab the rest and go.
Home invasions are usually covered by insurance policies for homes and apartments, so consider investing in homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. The premiums aren’t particularly high, and the protection can be impressive. Of course, nothing can make a home break-in fun, and there’s no replacing a family heirloom. But a cash payout and replacements for your most expensive possessions can be a massive help after a robbery. You’ll be stressed and suffering emotionally, so why allow yourself to suffer financially, too? Get insurance and stop worrying.
Other things to consider
Protecting your home is all well and good, but there are a few more things to cover before you can really rest easy.
- Your car. Is your car alarmed? Insured? Protect it and what’s in it by making sure it’s parked somewhere safe – preferably a locked garage. Consider splurging on indoor, guarded parking when you’re parking away from home, and be sure to stash valuables out of sight – nothing excites thieves like seeing some valuable object just sitting on the passenger seat of an unsupervised car.
- Storage units. Self-storage is a great way to get clutter out of your home, protect recreational vehicles during the off-season, and much more. But you have to make sure that the possessions you’re storing are protected! Make sure that you choose a reliable self-storage facility that makes security a priority. Look for locks, fences, and guards.
- On the go. There are ways to insure yourself while on vacation or outside your home. Look into vacation insurance and speak to your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provider about riders that can expand your out-of-home coverage. And, of course, always use traveler’s checks.