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Secure your home before hitting the road for the holidays

November 20, 2013

Nationwide Insurance reminds members to lock up, create a home inventory this holiday travel season

Columbus, Ohio - As 93.3 million Americans prepare to travel to visit loved ones or go on vacation this holiday season, Nationwide Insurance wants to ensure consumers are taking the proper precautions to protect their homes and belongings while they are away.

It comes as no surprise that the holidays are a busy time of year for travel. According to U.S. Department of Transportation Statistics, the number of long-distance trips by Americans increases by 54 percent during the Thanksgiving travel period. The number rises by 23 percent during Christmas and New Year’s, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year.

Burglars can take advantage of these out-of-town trips to break into homes. According to Nationwide claims data over the past three years, there were almost 15,000 home thefts in the peak holiday travel months of November, December and January. As homeowners travel across long distances and for extended periods of time, they leave themselves more vulnerable to the occurrence of home theft.

“When gearing up for the holiday season, consumers often worry about getting the best deals on airline tickets, finding ways to avoid congested highways and finishing up their holiday shopping.  But taking the proper steps to secure their homes before leaving for the holidays tends to be a last minute thought – if it’s remembered at all,” explains Pete Lore, Associate Vice President of Claims at Nationwide Insurance.

Nationwide Insurance reminds consumers to:

It’s important to recognize that even if you take the necessary precautions to protect your home, a theft still can occur. Nationwide encourages consumers to account for their possessions before leaving on trips by creating a home inventory. Nationwide found that 44 percent of homeowners admit they do not document nor keep track of their belongings. Yet, this can be one of the quickest and simplest steps to protect your belongings.

“It takes about as much time to create a home inventory as it does to wrap your presents,” said Lore. “Conducting a home inventory is a quick and easy task that can prevent a whole lot of headache down the road.”

To complete a thorough inventory Nationwide recommends taking the following steps:

For more information on how to keep your home safe and what to do in the event home theft occurs, visit our Safety and Care page or contact your local Nationwide agent. Consumers can also test their theft-prevention knowledge by taking Nationwide’s theft quiz.

About the Brand New Belongings Study

The Brand New Belongings Study was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Nationwide Insurance from May 21 to May 29, 2013. Respondents were comprised of 1,005 U.S. adults aged 18+ who have a homeowners insurance policy or a condo insurance policy. Results are weighted to the U.S. General Population adults ages 18+ in terms of age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for consumers’ propensity to be online. Research participants were drawn from the Harris Poll Online (HPOL) research panel. Because the sample is based on those who were invited to participate in the HPOL panel, we cannot calculate estimates of theoretical sampling error.

About Nationwide

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides customers a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and specialty health services. For more information, visit

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