Is My House Covered If I Go Away On Vacation?

It is covered for some types of loss, while other types of loss are limited or not covered. Example: Vandalism is excluded while the house is vacant. Your house is not considered vacant but rather unoccupied while vacationing. A vandalism claim is then covered in that situation. But, if you have left the house and removed all the contents, and planning to move to another location for example, then vandalism is excluded, as this is considered a vacant house.

You need to discuss your situation with your broker or agent. Insurance companies have different requirements for time away from the home during the heating season.

Your adviser can check the policy wordings to see what you need to do. It can be that the wordings will say that you are required to have the house checked in a "reasonable" amount of time. Another company could ask that the house be checked daily. Some companies require the house be checked every four days.

You can consider having a trusted neighbour come to your home on a daily basis. They can initial a calendar left on the kitchen table to document their presence that day. The neighbour would walk through the house, including the basement to check that there is not a problem with items such as the heating system, a deep freeze has lost power, or a water leak has sprung from the hot water tank, toilet or other household appliance. The neighbour can also open and close curtains to give an appearance of occupancy.

If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, you may consider having a trusted friend or relative "house sit" for you. It is a good idea to let your broker or agent know that this person is taking care of things in your absence. If it will be more than 30 days, then you could have this person added as additional insured for contents and liability in case there is a claim.

When you are away, it is a good idea to let your trusted neighbour know, so they would note any unusual activity. You can ask the newspaper delivery to be suspended. If you do not have an alarm system, you might set up lights to go on and off with a timer. The timers are relatively inexpensive and easy to find.

You need to check your policy for restrictions in this area. It might be part of why you would choose one insurer over another - if one gave you more leeway on the amount of days and this fit your lifestyle.