Most 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!