Insurance Insights: Get your insurance holiday ready

Brian McGrail

Many of us are excited to spend the year-end holidays with our loved ones—perhaps for the first time in nearly two years—and you might be planning an extended getaway, or to ring in the new year with faraway friends. If you are traveling, here are some important steps you can take to keep valuables protected and get your home and auto insurance in shape for 2022.

  • Protect against potential flooding – If you’re leaving home, make sure pipes in vulnerable areas, such as attics, basements, and crawlspaces, are insulated. Set your thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If you have a programmable thermostat, use it (and double check the batteries). If it looks like it’s going to get very cold, have a neighbor, relative, or friend stop by to check the house and periodically turn on your faucets to ensure the pipes don’t freeze.
  • Conserve energy – Disconnect your computer, TV, stereo, and other advanced electronics to save on unnecessary power usage while you’re away, or at least make sure they’re plugged into surge protectors in case of an influx of power. Set timers on as many lights as you can, both inside and outside your home. Many smart home technologies, such as Amazon Alexa, and Google Home, have “away” modes that randomize when and where your lights turn on/off.
  • Deter theft – Burglaries tend to increase this time of year, because thieves know a lot of people are traveling. Resist the temptation to announce on social media that you’re traveling, and wait until you’re back to share your vacation pictures online. If you have a landline phone, turn down/off the volume of your ringer so it can’t be heard from outside. Arrange for someone to shovel your driveway and any pathways if it snows. Stop your mail and your newspapers, or have them picked up by a neighbor. Don’t leave spare keys outside, as burglars know the most popular places. Additionally, many of today’s home security systems allow you to monitor the interior and exterior of your home right from your smartphone. Make sure you have notifications enabled to alert you when an event occurs.
  • Stay safe on the road – If you’re road-tripping, make sure you know the crash-reporting laws in the states you’re traveling through. Hopefully, you’ll never need that information, but if you are in a crash, you must abide by that state’s reporting laws if you anticipate filing an insurance claim. In Colorado, reports are required, but you have 10 days to file them. That might not be true in other states. Visit for a comprehensive list.

Enjoy your holiday travels! When you return home, remember it’s a good time to start the new year with an annual insurance checkup. We’re happy to help you find the best value for your needs. Visit any of our retail store locations, call us at 844-259-2806, or visit

Brian McGrail is the vice president of insurance for AAA Colorado.