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How to Keep Your Home Insurance Current on Vacation

Taking a vacation is always exciting. Whether you’re headed out for an adventure, a family visit, or a trip somewhere warm, you’re going to be away from home for a while. Did you know that it’s part of your agreement with your insurer to have someone check in on your home? Insurance companies generally require a check-in every 48 to 72 hours if you’re away. If this isn’t done, you as the homeowner are at risk of a void insurance policy and potentially catastrophic repair costs. We’ll break down how to keep your home insurance current while

Why is my home insurance at risk of being voided? 

Home insurance is meant to offer coverage in the event of something catastrophic and sudden. That’s why it doesn’t cover regular home maintenance. When we purchase an insurance policy, we are inherently making an agreement with our insurance company. Part of this is ensuring our home is not left vacant for too long. Why? Vacancy means damage goes unnoticed for longer and it can also attract vandals, thieves, and other nefarious characters.

How often does a vacant house need to be checked for insurance purposes?

How often should someone check your house when you are away?? Generally, insurers will require someone to check on your home at least once every 48 to 72 hours. You may also be required to turn off and drain the water if you are going away for an extended period over winter (and do not have someone living at your home full-time). The exact requirements vary by the home insurance policy.

How can I prepare my house before my vacation?

While it is important to remember that every insurance policy is different, the majority of companies will call for similar requirements. Even if you are away for a small vacation, you are responsible for guaranteeing that your property will be looked over from time to time. Consider organizing a plan for a trusted family member or friend to come into your house every day while you are away to make sure that your house is in good shape. They should ensure:

  • Your heat is working.
  • There are no taps running.
  • There is no water in the basement or main floor (especially if it has rained).
  • Windows and doors are securely closed and locked.
  • Mail is picked up.
  • There is no damage to the exterior of your home from a storm or wind, such as loose roofing or fallen branches.

Concerned about pipes bursting? You could shut off your water supply and drain your pipes prior to your departure. Even though it might seem trivial, your insurance company wants to guarantee that it isn’t covering a house that is at higher risk than originally agreed upon.

The older your home is, the more beneficial it is to give your house a good once-over before you go. This is especially true if you’re leaving for the winter or any longer trips. Check your roof, your appliances, and so on to ensure they’re in good working order. Make sure your house’s doors are all locked when you leave, including pet doors and garage doors. This guide offers more thorough steps for preparing your home inside and out for your vacation.



How long can I leave my house unoccupied?

Many people ask how long can you leave your house unattended, Many insurance policies impose a time limit on property vacancy, typically around 30 days. Exceeding this limit could render your policy null and void.


What are the home insurance rules for when I’m on vacation?


Duration of Vacancy: When your home remains unoccupied for over 30 consecutive days, it’s classified as vacant.

Policy Details: Dive into the nitty-gritty of your insurance policy. Understand the specific inspection requirements and compliance measures for your home, along with the permissible duration of vacancy.

Risks of Vacant Properties: Empty homes are magnets for risks like break-ins, vandalism, and water damage. Regular inspections are your shield against these threats.

Coverage Implications: Neglecting inspection requirements could lead to reduced coverage, policy cancellations, or claim denials if an incident occurs.

Consult Your Insurer: Don’t hesitate to reach out to your insurance provider. Clarify any uncertainties regarding inspection protocols and ensure strict adherence to policy terms.

By staying vigilant and implementing these measures, you can keep your home secure and your insurance coverage intact while you’re away.


Why do I need a house-sitter? 

There is a section in most home insurance policies that restrict how much an insurer is obligated to pay out if damages are incurred while a house is left vacant and unsupervised. It only takes an instant for a situation to arise, no matter how short of a time you are away for. Additionally, damages can be mitigated if they are stopped early enough – such as if a tap started to leak – but with no one to regularly monitor the state of your home these issues can grow out of control and cause some serious problems.

It’s not uncommon for costly repairs to arise due to negligence over a long period. But as long as you are up to date on the upkeep of your home and can demonstrate this to your insurer, your coverage should remain secure.



Vacation Planning: Navigating Home, Condo, and Tenant Insurance for Peace of Mind.

When you’re planning a vacation, it’s crucial to consider how your home insurance, including condo and tenant insurance, fits into the picture. For homeowners, ensuring the security of your property during your absence is paramount. Before you embark on your journey, it’s advisable to notify your insurance provider about your travel plans. This can help in case of any unexpected incidents like burglaries or damages, as your provider can offer guidance on the necessary steps to take.

Condo owners should also stay informed about their condo association’s insurance policies. Typically, the condo association’s insurance covers the building structure, but personal belongings and improvements made to the condo may require additional coverage. Before leaving for your vacation, double-check your condo insurance policy to ensure you have adequate protection.

For renters, tenant insurance plays a significant role during vacations. It not only covers your personal belongings but also provides liability coverage. In case of an incident in your rental property while you’re away, tenant insurance can help safeguard your interests. Before you travel, make sure you understand the terms of your policy and have your insurance documents readily accessible.

In summary, whether you’re a homeowner, condo owner, or tenant, reviewing your insurance policies and communicating your travel plans with your provider is a prudent step before going on vacation. It ensures that you’re adequately protected and can enjoy your getaway with peace of mind.


Did you know?

If you’re new to home insurance, here’s a quick fact: The average cost to insure a home in Calgary is $1,923, slightly higher than the provincial average of $1,837 per year. In comparison, the average cost to get a home insurance in Edmonton is $1,504 annually.


If you aren’t certain as to what your responsibilities are, consider reading over your home insurance policy. Alternatively, you could always ask your home insurance broker to clarify for you. By doing this, you can formulate an appropriate plan for this sort of situation.