Posted by: Kayleigh Spurlock | November 17, 2011

Take Control Before They Take Control of You

The word “they” I am referring to may or may not shock you.  Criminals have been around since the beginning of time, yet somehow that is not one of the first things people think to protect themselves against.  When purchasing personal insurance, people focus on auto physical damage, homeowner’s liability, and what protects them in instances of a busted water pipe.  While these coverages are vital in protecting a person and their assets, we often forget to look at some of the country’s largest risks.  According to the Executive Director of Trafficking in America Task Force, Inc., the #2 crime in America for 2011 is human trafficking, and it is projected to be the #1 crime by 2012.  With modern day slavery on the rise, Governor Haslam of Tennessee declared November 6-12th as “Human Trafficking Awareness Week”, which marked America’s first ever.  In hopes to bring attention and education to this issue, knowing your insurance coverage and risk in instances of home invasion will help you protect yourself, your family, and your peace of mind.

               Unlike a burglary or robbery, a home invasion involves a criminal entering your residence when you are in the home (typically on the weekend or at night).  Home invaders are not deterred by alarm systems, door locks or barred windows, and do what they can to enter the home and take full control.  During a traditional home invasion, the criminal(s) tries to enter the home as a repair worker or delivery driver.  After taking control and tying up the homeowner or immobilizing him/her in some way, the criminal will search the home for valuables.  They may also force the homeowner to locate valuables or open safes.  Since your Homeowners Insurance policy does not provide protection from a home invasion, Home Invasion Insurance is a must.  These policies provide protection for people-related risks, such as abductions and injuries.  Your Homeowners policy will only provide coverage for loss or damage to your property.  In addition, a typical Health Insurance policy will only provide limited mental health coverage, which will most likely be necessary after experiencing a traumatic home invasion.  Some companies will allow you add “Family Security” to your standard Homeowners and Health insurance policy to assure full protection against losses to include home invasion, stalking, child abduction, kidnapping and hijacking.  To assure you will be protected, here are a few key strategies;

  • Install solid core doors with strong locks and security devices on all windows and doors
  • Secure your locks even further with heavy-duty strike plates with at least four, three-inch screws
  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times when you are home and away
  • Keep your window shades closed at night so invaders cannot see what you have
  • If you are home alone, make it look as if you are not by turning on lights in multiple rooms as well as TV’s
  • If you own a firearm, keep it hidden in your master bedroom as victims are generally contained in their bedroom
  • Get a dog to warn you of potential invaders, and turn on porch lights at night.

               Discuss your home security plans with your entire family.  If your loved ones are on the same page about how you will resist a home invasion, you will be more prepared in case one occurs.  Home Invasions are more common than ever and are far more dangerous than a typical break-in.  Ensure that you are properly protected to keep your family safe.

***Human Trafficking and sex slavery in TN is more common than many believe possible.  Davidson, Shelby, Knox, and Coffee Counties are among the highest ranked in regard to the number of victims of human sex trafficking.  In each county, there were 200+ victims in the past 24 months (about 4,000 state-wide). The 60 page report is available on-line at http://www.tbi.state.tn.us. ***


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