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Australians are leaving their homes vacant, inviting burglars to help themselves


By taking a few small steps to protect their homes, Aussie travellers can avoid major disaster.

More than 2.5 million Aussies will be leaving their homes vacant for an average of 2-4 weeks as they escape the winter chill, according to the Australian Federation of Travel Agents.

This can be problematic, considering nearly a quarter of Australian homeowners have experienced a break-in with only a quarter of those installing security to stop it next time. And that includes people not on vacation.

Here are a few helpful tips to help you protect your home while you soak up the rays elsewhere, courtesy of Ring, an Australia-based maker of digital home security systems:

  • Make sure you have home and contents insurance. This is perhaps the most important because even if the worst does happen, you can be reimbursed for almost anything that gets damaged or stolen. Being a victim of burglary isn't fun, but it's easier to manage when you know you'll have help getting through it.
  • Ask someone to collect your mail. A large pile of accumulating mail is a dead giveaway that you're not around. Ask a neighbour or friend to collect if for you. Otherwise, Australia Post can hold it for you for up to 12 months for a small fee.

  • Get a neighbour to park in your driveway. This is a pretty easy way to deter burglars and it shouldn't put too much burden on your neighbour.

  • Organise a house-sitter. Now the house is no longer vacant! If you can't find a friend to do it for you, there are plenty of house-sitting companies around Australia, or you can find one using a crowd-sourcing website.

  • Don’t brag on social. Spilling the beans by bragging about your trip on social media is a direct ad to thieves that your home may be vacant. Wait until you get home before posting, but if you absolutely must share, do so in a private group setting.

  • Eliminate hiding spots thieves can take advantage of. If you're away from home often, you may want to consider some landscaping. Thick shrubbery and tall plants are great for your own privacy but they're also great hiding spots for burglars. Make sure your yard is always trimmed and fully visible from the street, and light up any dark spots with floodlights or security cameras.
  • Set smart home timers for your lights. Unlike normal timers, smart home timers allow you to set up your lights on alternating, random schedules. This gives the impression you have a full and busy house.
  • Invest in smart security. New tech, like digital video doorbells, makes it easy to monitor your home from abroad, providing motion-sensing alerts and real-time monitoring. This will come in handy if someone is trying to break in or even if it's just the delivery man wanting to know where to leave a package!

For more tips, you can also check out's comprehensive home-security guide here.

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Name Product Building Cover Contents Cover Fire, Storm & Theft Damage Sum Insured Safeguard Online Discount Cheapest way to pay
BonusFinder Award Finalist
Budget Direct Home & Contents Insurance
Our verdict: The most popular insurer on Finder, Budget Direct prioritises low-cost cover and gives you up to 30% off your first year for new combined policies purchased online. This is a big reason it won this year’s Finder Award for value.
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Youi Building and Contents Insurance
Our verdict: Finder’s 2022 Insurer of the Year for Customer Satisfaction and our Top Pick for Fire Damage cover. It’s good if you want a tailored quote over the phone.
Green CompanyBonus
QBE Home & Contents Insurance
Our verdict: Finder's Top Pick for Floods plus cover for other common claims such as fire and theft). Its discount is better than most – 20% off your first year with a combined policy.
Finder AwardBonus
Honey Home & Contents Insurance
Monthly or Annually
Our verdict: Honey gives you $250 smart sensors to reduce accidents and estimates your rebuild costs for you. Honey was a finalist for the comprehensive category in this year’s Finder Awards.
Finder AwardBonus
Australia Post Home & Contents Insurance
Our verdict: Covers common claims such as fire, storms, floods and rain. It’s also very helpful if you need to rebuild following a disaster. It offers a special safeguard of up to 30%.
Kogan Home & Contents Insurance
Our verdict: Good comprehensive cover (issued by QBE). Also, get 16% off on your first year's premium when you purchase a new combined Home & Contents insurance policy online + $10 monthly credit. T&Cs apply.
BonusFinder Award Finalist
Qantas Home and Contents Insurance
Our verdict: Earn up to 40K Qantas Points for joining by 2 July. Plus save 30% on your 1st year’s premium for purchasing a combined policy online. T&Cs apply.
Westpac Home and Contents Insurance
Monthly or Annually
Our verdict: Provided by Allianz, one of the biggest insurers in Australia. Cover for fire, theft, storm, cyclones and more.
Picture: Shutterstock

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