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Going Away This Winter? Here’s How Home Insurance Works While Away

This winter seems especially harsh these days with the frigid temperatures and endless snow we seem to be getting! If you’re like many families, you may be getting ready to plan your winter getaway for a change of scenery and temperatures! We don’t blame you. It is important to remember, however, that leaving your home for an extended period of time means there are added risks that you wouldn’t experience while having someone at home looking after it.

Thankfully, your home insurance policy will continue to keep your home and possessions protected even while you’re away, should you meet some specific requirements.

Protecting Your Empty Home

Depending on the duration of your getaway, you can take steps to make sure your coverage stays in place. You may need to have your home checked regularly by someone and you may want to notify your insurance provider about your planned trip, if you’ll be gone for more than a month particularly.

During Shorter Trips from Home

If your trip will be less than 30 days in duration, you don’t need to contact your insurance company to notify them. You do need to, on the other hand, request that a family member or neighbour you trust check the inside of your home every few days to verify that everything looks as it should. For instance, if a pipe bursts, a toilet begins to leak or there is water damage that isn’t caught in time, damage could be occurring without your knowledge, and in some cases will only get worse. If faced with a similar circumstance and these issues aren’t caught by an individual checking in regularly, your claim for damages could very well be declined.

During Extended Trips from Home

From an insurance viewpoint, your home is seen as “unoccupied” if you’ll be gone for over 30 days but you’re planning to go back to it. If you’ll be in this situation, we highly encourage you to get in touch with your insurance provider to find out whether you require a unique permit to keep your home protected while it remains unoccupied during this time.


If you are heading south this winter, make sure you take into consideration these steps if you want to remain proactive in protecting your home during a lengthy absence:

  1. Most importantly, you’ll need to have your home checked on an ongoing basis to meet the conditions of your insurance policy
  2. Drain your water pipes to reduce the chances of water damage
  3. If you currently lack one, look into installing an alarm system, as it can qualify you for discounted insurance

Vacant Properties

A property is considered vacant for insurance purposes when there is no one living there and there are no possessions left inside the home. You could face this scenario when selling your house is delayed but you’ve already transitioned into your new house. In an effort to maintain coverage on your previous home, you will need to acquire a special vacancy permit from your insurance company.

Home Insurance Travels with You

Were you aware that personal items from your home or condo that you pack with you during your travels will continue being covered by your homeowner’s policy? Even if you are currently renting, your tenants insurance policy will keep personal belongings protected temporarily while you are away from your home. Remember however, this is not the case for belongings that are business related or part of a home business. Business belongings require entirely different coverage on its own.

Looking for more information on your home insurance? Will Marshall is here to look after your needs.

Call our team of insurance brokers for guidance at 705-726-2551 in Barrie, or 705-326-5664 in Orillia.

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