Some homeowners choose to temporarily vacate their properties during times of the year when there are changes in trends and the local industry. This is common in the Kootenay region due to the mining industry supply and demand as well as recreational properties. Vacancies could also be due to seasonal trends or tenants moving out.
Leaving homes unattended for even a few days can impact home and property insurance. This impact grows if a property is vacant for more than 30 days.
Karen Lewis from the Elkford Western Financial Group branch said that insurance might no longer be valid if a property is left vacant for 30 days.
“We really encourage our clients to come in and have a conversation with us regarding their home vacancy policy,” Lewis said in a press release. “To ensure that you are fully covered, it is important to review your policy and to make sure that there aren’t any gaps in coverage, whether that be for a vacant seasonal property, rental property or your home that you are going to be leaving vacant for 30 days.”
Western Financial Group, an insurance provider that has offices in the East Kootenay reminds the public that leaving your home for any length of time may seem like no big deal but there are important things to remember to stay protected.
Make sure that the properties main water is turned off as this helps reduce the chance of a pipe bursting. Put outdoor lights or lights that can be seen from outside on timers.
This will help to make it seem like someone is occupying the residence and deter potential theft. Have someone check on your home periodically.
While it could be as simple as getting the mail or watering house plants to make the property look more lived in, it is also important to check for leaks or a break in.
It may also be useful to talk to a broker about how to further mitigate risk and check for policy coverage.
When renewing your insurance, it is a requirement to inform your broker if there is a vacancy.
“Make sure that when you are renewing [your] insurance, if there is a vacancy, or it is empty, that [you] advise [your] broker of that fact. There seems to be a misunderstanding that it is necessary,” Lewis said.