Home Insurance

Is Your Home Insured While You Are Away

Home InsuredIs 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!


Home Insurance While You are Away

Home Insurance While You are AwayMost people leave on vacation and really do not give a seconds thought about home insurance. While they are away or  coverage for their home all kinds of things can occur. If you are only leaving for a week, you are probably ok. However for anything longer than one week, you should really check with your insurance company re home insurance while you are away. Find out what they need you to do to maintain your insurance coverage on your home.

Some insurance companies will not cover homes that have been left vacant for specified lengths of time. They want someone checking on them to make sure that the furnace is working. They want to make sure that there are no water leaks or other damage. Refusing to cover a claim could be catastrophic. If you do have a claim, you will be happy that you made the effort to check with them first and followed their instructions.

Homes become vacant for many reasons. Here are a few:

  • Vacation – short
  • Extended vacation
  • Transfer to somewhere else
  • Fire damage
  • New home construction

In many cases someone who is being transferred to another city or country for a temporary period may decide to leave their home vacant or try to sell their home while they work elsewhere. People who go on vacation may leave their home and do not have anyone check on it, or just have the neighbors keep an eye on it while they are away.

Do You have Home Insurance While You are Away

Your existing home  insurance company MAY OR MAY NOT be willing to continue to provide home insurance or may refuse a claim if you have not had someone monitoring it while the home is vacant. Many of the mainstream home insurance companies will not provide home insurance for a home that is left vacant or even rented to a tenant.

Check With your Home Insurance Company

Before you make any decisions regarding your home, check with your insurance company first to confirm they will continue to provide insurance cover. Either way you need to have your building insured for liability and also damaged from some of the basic perils that may occur. You should also appreciate that limited cover is available for your building so you should take this into account if you are doing any financial planning.

Home Insurance companies may require someone to actually go into the home once a day during the winter to ensure that the heat is still on and that there is no break in the water lines. Some insurance companies will continue to cover a home with a once per week check if the water is turned off and drained from all of the interior pipes.

Example Of Insurance Claim While You are Away

A friend of ours was off in Florida for the winter when a pipe broke in his home due to an electrical malfunction. The furnace stopped working and the pipes froze. Water gushed out everywhere causing $90,000 in damages to his home. He had to have all of the floors redone and much of the house repainted. Fortunately for him his son was going into the home on a biweekly basis and found the water break. Even an hour of water running can cause a lot of damage! The insurance company covered him in this case, however he had to prove that his son was actually checking the house on a biweekly basis. Can you afford a $90,000 claim if your insurance company does not cover the damage.

Mortgage companies for instance require a minimum level of insurance associated with any mortgage they may make available to you. With a bit of help you will be able to find several quotes for your unoccupied building. Customers should also confirm what kind of security or how often the property needs to be visited to maintain your insurance.

When you do arrange for someone to check on your home make sure they can be counted on to actually go in and check. They really should keep a record of when they go in and confirm that the furnace is working etc. this suggestion is just to be on the safe side as far as claims are concerned.

Comments are welcome about having home insurance coverage while you are on vacation! For more information on vacant home insurance, click here.

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