Ask neighbors to be your eyes and ears
Alerting neighbors to your vacation plans and asking them to watch your property is paramount, says Frank Scafidi, spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, another insurance industry group.
"That's the best advice for low-cost home protection," he says.
People who are retired or who do not work outside the home are often the best lookouts.
"They are familiar with what is normal for your street and can take note when a van appears in your driveway," he says.
Instruct neighbors to call police if they see any suspicious activity. It's also wise to give a trusted neighbor a spare key to your house, says Michelle Boykins, a spokeswoman for the National Crime Prevention Council. That's better than leaving a key under the mat.
"Don't attempt to hide your spare key, thinking no one else will find it," she says.