When a house is unoccupied it is an easy target for thieves and vandals. The damage caused by a break in or by vandalism can be quite severe. Especially when the thieves or vandals committing the crime have no fear of being caught.
It might be as minor as a broken door or window with some personal property stolen. Often it is much more than that. Some vacant homes have had graffiti, walls smashed, and even fires set in them.
Break ins, vandalism, water damage, fires and liability claims from intruders on the property are the big concerns that insurance providers face when it comes to vacant home insurance coverage. Because of this insurers either decline insurance on unoccupied homes or charge a higher premium. It is important to have someone checking your home at a regular frequency and to take action as required.
When is a house considered unoccupied?
When you are away from home more than 30 days
It is best to check with your insurance provider, but in most cases if you are away for more than 30 days your home is considered unoccupied because you plan to return. In this case you should contact your insurance provider to determine whether you will need to obtain a special permit to leave the house empty. You will still need to arrange regular checks on the property, and you might want to consider draining water pipes and installing a good security alarm.
When is a house considered vacant?
It is best to check with your insurance provider, but in most case a fully vacant property is one with no occupants and no contents. This may occur for various reasons:
- Homes for sale (and empty)
- Homes that sold but the closing is at a future date
- Homes in the name of an estate
- Homes under renovation
- Rental properties between tenant
- Away for medical treaments
In these cases you may need to obtain a vacancy permit from your insurer. This permit will maintain most of your coverage, except for risks associated with vacancy such as broken water pipes, broken glass or vandalism. These permits can be obtained for up to three months. You will still need to arrange regular checks on the property, and again you might want to consider draining water pipes and installing a good security alarm.
What is a Vacancy Permit?
A vacancy permit offers basic protection against damage caused by fire, lightning, explosion, windstorm, hail and vehicle impact but still won’t provide coverage for vandalism, theft, glass damage, water escape or other perils. The permit may increase your premiums and can require you to pay higher deductibles in case of a claim. There may be also a requirement to inspect your vacant properties regularly so your insurance remains valid. We recommend that you speak with your insurance provider about the specific requirements for your insurance company and policy.
Inspected by 42 Home Watch can monitor your Vacant or Unoccupied Ottawa Home at a reasonable cost.
For Vacant or Unoccupied Home Watch in the Ottawa and Surrounding areas Call Barry 613 799 3698, prices per visit start at $25 + HST.
Check out the details here at Inspected by 42 - Home Watch:
** Insurance licensing, legislation, and policies often vary by province and by country. This blog is a free information source. So use this site to gain a general understanding of insurance with your own area and situation in mind. This insurance information is provided as general in nature and the your own policy wordings always take precedence. It is possible that there are errors and omissions in this website and www.ib42.ca, or its authors, take no responsibility. It is best to check with your insurance provider to confirm the details of your home insurance policy.