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August 10, 2016

How home insurance works while you’re away

1 min read


When your home is not occupied it is definitely at greater risk than when you are there taking care of it. The good news is your home insurance policy continues to protect your home and possessions in your absence providing you meet certain requirements.

Protecting my unoccupied home

Depending on the length of your absence, you can take steps to ensure your coverage remains in place. You may need to have your home checked regularly by someone and/or you may need to notify your insurance provider about your planned absence.

During shorter absences

If you’re going to be away for less than 30 days, you don’t need to call your insurance company about it. But you do need to arrange for somebody to check inside your house every few days to confirm that everything is fine. For example, if a toilet starts leaking or a pipe bursts in winter, you may have water damage going on for days unnoticed. In this case, your claim for damages could be refused if you did not have your house being monitored regularly.

During longer absences

From an insurance point of view, your home is considered to be “unoccupied” when you are going to be away for more than 30 days but you do plan to return to it. In these situations, it is a good idea to contact your insurance professional to see if you need to get a special permit to protect your home while it is unoccupied for this length of time.

Whether it is winter or summer, follow these steps to fully protect your home during longer absences:

  1. First and foremost, have your home checked often to meet the conditions of your insurance policy
  2. Drain your water pipes to minimize the risk of water damage
  3. If you don’t already have one, consider installing an alarm system, which can qualify you for a discount on your insurance

Vacant properties

A property is deemed to be vacant for insurance purposes when there is no one living there and there are no contents inside. You may find yourself in this situation when selling your house gets delayed but you have already moved to your new home. To maintain most of the coverage on your former home, you will need to obtain a special vacancy permit from your insurance company.

Home insurance travels with you

Did you know that personal belongings from your home or condo that you bring with you on your travels continue to be covered by your homeowner’s policy? Even if you are renting, your tenants insurance policy will protect personal items temporarily away from home. Be aware though that this does not apply to items related to a home business; these will require separate coverage.

Questions about your home insurance?

Our insurance experts are ready to answer your questions and provide no-obligation home insurance quotes too. Call Mitch Insurance at 1-800-731-2228 or email us at We’d be happy to help!

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