Heading South? What every homeowner needs to know before vacation.

Elliott Insurance Services    January 8, 2016

Many Canadians look forward to winter. Not only does it mean skiing, skating and snowmobiling, but it often means winter vacation. Whether you’re headed south, or to a destination ski vacation, there is one very important item which may void coverage on your homeowners, tenants or condo insurance. Even though every company offers their own specific wordings, the intent of this exclusion is often the same; if you are away from you home, you may not be covered for certain damages.

In the winter, water pipes often freeze and burst causing signification damage to your home. Many homeowners realize that insurance companies do not cover damage caused by freezing pipes in an unheated portion of your home, but are surprised when they realize insurance companies do not cover damage caused by freezing or burst pipes in a heated section of the home after the homeowner has been away from the home for specified number of days (usually 4 days, however some companies may be less).

What can you do?

  1. Read your specific insurance policy wordings and contact your insurance broker to review together to ensure you are fully understanding your insurance policy.
  2. Most insurance companies will continue to cover freezing or burst pipes if a certain combination of the following precautions have been taken:
    1. An arrangement for a competent person to enter the dwelling each day you are away to ensure heating is being maintained has been made.
    2. The water supply has been shut off and all lines and domestic water containers have been drained
    3. Your plumbing and heating systems have been connected to a monitored alarm station providing 24-hour service
  3. Contact your broker to ensure you are taking the proper precautions as specified by your contract of insurance.

There are many different home and condo insurance policies which cover many different things. Be sure that you review your specific policy wordings and speak with your insurance provider to know exactly what it covers and what it doesn’t.

If you’re looking for home, condo or tenants insurance, I suggest you speak with an Independent Insurance Broker to help you navigate the options and be sure you are getting the best policy coverage for the best price. If you don’t have an Independent Broker, click here to contact us and we’d be happy to help.

Review your insurance policy wordings with your broker before you head on vacation.

Review your insurance policy wordings with your broker before you head on vacation.