Vacationing tips to protect you and your family
Vacations should be a time spent having fun and relaxing. By taking a few extra precautions while traveling, you can prevent yourself, or your friends and family, from being a victim of crime. A.I.C. Insurance Agency and Travelers, a leading provider of auto and homeowners insurance, offer these safety tips to help you, your friends and family have a fun and safe vacation:
- Do not carry large amounts of cash. Use traveler’s checks that can usually be replaced within 24 hours.
- Use ATMs only during daylight hours. If you must use one after dark, try to find a well-lit, busy area such as a grocery store.
- Leave copies of trip information with a friend or family member at home. This includes credit card numbers, passport numbers, plane tickets and itinerary information, and phone numbers for your credit card companies.
- Keep credit cards, cash, passport, and plane tickets separate.
- Wear a “money purse” underneath your clothes that contains passport, phone numbers for credit card companies, and a small amount of cash, should your wallet get stolen.
- Carry a “dummy” wallet in your back pocket containing $20 which, if you were to be mugged, would satisfy the robber without draining all of your funds.
- Have your mail delivery stopped while on vacation. If you have a neighbor retrieving mail and newspapers while you are away, ensure that they will be there every day. Nothing says an empty house like a stack of mail or newspapers at the front door.
- Do not assume your personal documents are safe in your hotel room. Lock them in a safe while the room is unoccupied.
- Have separate ATM, debit and credit cards and make sure that you need a PIN for in-store use of a debit card, not only for the ATM.
- For women, do not hang purses on the back of bathroom stall doors. It is very easy for someone to reach over the door and grab it.
- Leave your regular checkbook at home. If your checks are stolen, it’s difficult to cancel them and track their use as you would a credit card. Plus, if someone reorders checks in your name, you won’t realize it until you receive your bank statement.
- Only carry credit cards that you will need on vacation. Leave cards for particular department stores or things like gas cards at home.
- Remember that your credit card number is on your plane tickets, so treat them as you would a credit card.
- Cover ATM key pads when entering your PIN. People could be watching over your shoulder, or even from a distance, and then later attempt to steal your wallet and use this information.
- Use common sense when traveling. Do not draw attention to yourself as a tourist. Avoid reading maps in a busy, high-traffic area, carry your camera in a tote bag rather than the carrying case, and do not flaunt large amounts of cash when removing money from your wallet or pocket.
Your homeowners, condo or renters insurance policy may cover loss or damage of your personal items while traveling, up to specified limits. Take time before you go on vacation to compile a personal property inventory, which helps determine replacement cost of lost items. Document each item’s year of purchase and original price. Items that may exceed policy limits, such as jewelry, cameras and golf equipment, need additional protection such as Travelers valuable items insurance. To ensure you have the coverage you need, contact your independent insurance agent.
Established in 1995, AIC Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency offering a full range of insurance products including auto, home, life, commercial, and more.
For information and quotes on insurance coverage, please visit AIC Insurance Agency at 14000 SE Johnson Rd. Ste.210 in Milwaukie, OR, or call 503-653-8287.
Travelers, the second largest writer of auto and homeowners insurance through independent agents, is a member of St. Paul Travelers, a leading provider of property casualty insurance and asset management services. For more information, visit www.travelers.com
Graduate of Oregon State University, and independent insurance agent in Oregon
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