Home Monitoring OCD While On Vacation

home monitoring ocd while on vacation

Welcome to Ben’s Chronicles

Hello! I’m Ben from EINSURANCE. Trust me, I know there are plenty of things we’d both probably rather be doing than discussing insurance. But although insurance gets a bad rap, it does have its benefits; especially when you find the right coverage and carrier.

Unfortunately, throughout my life I have had a knack for being at the wrong place, at the right time. Given my gravitational pull toward bad luck, I wanted to share a few of my life experiences with you in hopes that my bad luck could benefit you. So, bear with me over the upcoming weeks, because I’ll be sharing little nuggets I’ve learned through navigating the insurance world. If my mishaps and theories don’t directly help answer any of your insurance related questions, I promise they’ll make you laugh, albeit at my expense…

If you would like me to discuss a specific topic, feel free to email me at [email protected].

Today our topic is:

Home Monitoring OCD While On Vacation

For those of us that are lucky enough to partake on an annual family trip, this article will hit home. For those who have not yet been able to consistently take a vacation, take heed, this may provide great advice.

I admit, a part of my psyche feels that a small level of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may be beneficial to a person. When properly managed, it’s essentially an ‘angel’ on your shoulder reminding you to check on, fix, or change something. In my case, I go through the exact same routine every time I go on vacation. Schedule out each day of vacation, pack, do laundry, then re-pack. When the day of vacation finally arrives, I’m typically the person making sure everyone has their identification, our collective itineraries, and adequate excitement for the events to come. Although the excitement of the vacation is in the forefront of my mind, typically its weighted down by the worry about our home, personal property and packages being delivered while we’re on vacation.

This worry about our property while on vacation prompted our family to not only secure home insurance, but to also equip the home with the latest in-home security technology. Adding sensors, alarms and cameras certainly eased my bouts of worry when we left for vacations, however, the downside was that I’d be locked in on the cameras and sensors at home, while on vacation.

The overwhelming majority of the time, my monitoring OCD of our home while on vacation yielded no rewards (i.e. me catching a burglar red handed and ‘saving the day’); which in this case, is actually good news. That said, there was one time where we were on our annual vacation to Mexico, when my phone notified me that the front door sensor was tripped, but not the alarm. What was I going to do? After all the time I had spent monitoring our home while on vacation, and now I was finally confronted with an actual event – and of course, I had no idea how to respond. After gathering myself, I reviewed the video and couldn’t find the burglar. What could have tripped the sensor? I could barely eat, let alone enjoy our vacation. Given I couldn’t pinpoint anyone from the video outside or inside the home, I decided not to call the police, as I wasn’t sure how many ‘friendly’ drive-bys one is allowed without being charged. So, after mauling on this for a while, I had my mother drive over.

As she entered the home, she found that the lock on the knob of our front door was locked, but not the deadbolt. Outside of that, she had no idea what could have tripped the sensor. Either way, I was only partially satisfied, given on one hand everything was safe, but on the other, I had not figured out why the sensor was tripped in the first place. Thanks to my mother, I was able to salvage the rest of the trip, fully engaging in events knowing that we had a capable house-sitter at home. Once we finally returned home, before I could even unpack, I ran to the front door to try and recreate the circumstances that initially tripped the sensor while we were on vacation. My experiment revealed that when the deadlock is not locked, a strong wind could actually move the door enough to trip the sensitive sensor on top of the door. The knob could be locked, but the door only needed to move ever so slightly. Needless to say, we tightened the door and initiated a family rule that stipulated deadlocks to all doors must be locked.

OCD while on vacation does take away from your fun, however, its not all bad; it can sometimes save your home and personal property. Thankfully, my only run-in with a burglar was with the strong winds of my city. Even though the cost could be some vacation fun, I wouldn’t change my habit of checking in our home periodically while away. Even if the worse case scenario never occurs (an actual break-in into our home), home monitoring OCD is still worth it. After all, that’s what insurance is for, right; worse case scenarios!

About Dale Williams

Dale Q. Williams, MBA, is a well-respected financial executive whose experience spans from insurance to investment banking. Dale has first hand underwriting experience through working for one of the largest U.S. based insurance carriers, and advisory experience from working for several bulge-bracket and middle-market investment banks. Dale also received his MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with concentrations in finance and accounting.