Is your home insured while you are away on vacation? As property managers we get many calls from home owners asking if we will look after their pets such as cats dogs goldfish rabbits and many more different animals. They are very concerned about how their animal will be looked after while they are away and what kind of care we will provide to them. This in fact is the most important item for them at that time.
They are considered a member of the family and they care about their pet very much. This is definitely something that people with pets should care about. But there is much more to consider than just your pets. There is your home which is probably the single largest asset that you have.
Home Insured Validation
One of the things that we point out too many customers is that their home may not in fact be covered by their home insurance properly if your home is not monitored and checked on a regular basis. These people who are concerned about their pets will in fact probably meet all the requirements of their home insurance, however we urge everyone to check with their home insurance to find out what the requirement is to keep the home insurance valid while they are away from home on vacation or a business.
Most insurance companies are concerned about two major things. The first is break-ins of course, but the second is something that will cause far more damage and will be much more expensive and that is water damage from leaking pipes.
In the wintertime if the furnace is turned off for some reason due to power failure or failure of the furnace, the water in pipes etc. will freeze and cause a great deal of water damage. The pipes will start to leak and water can damage rugs, flooring, furniture and even your walls. Repairs can be very expensive. You may have to replace all of the flooring, most of the drywall and all of your furniture. This can get into thousands of dollars in claims. Mold from water damage must be eliminated to avoid health issues developing later on.
Insurance Company Requirements
Most insurance companies will ask that either the water be shut off, or someone visits the home every day or every second day to make sure that the furnace is in fact working with the furnace on and that there is no water leaking. They frankly do not care about pets and animals they are more concerned about whether there will be damaged for the home due to major water leaks. If you cannot turn the water off for some reason, they may require a visit every day when temperatures are below freezing.
Home Insured – Summary
This is some something that all homeowners should consider when they’re leaving on vacation. First of all check with your home insurance to find out what is required and then make arrangements for friends, family, neighbors or professional home sitting company to check your home on a regular basis for break-ins, water damage and to make sure that the furnace is working properly. If in doubt, turn the water off at the main valve where the water line enters your home.
You should also have some kind of record that shows someone has been into your home and found everything ok. This could be a report from a property management company or it could be an email from the neighbor indicating that they checked on your home and found everything to be fine. It also provides peace of mind for the home owner as well as evidence for the insurance company if you have an insurance claim.
Don’t ignore this issue while you are away. It also will provide you with peace of mind so that you can enjoy your vacation!