Protect your home when it’s empty

At a glance: Don’t let exclusions on your standard home insurance policy leave you without coverage for your home when it’s vacant. Vacant home insurance keeps your property protected when you’re not there.

Short absences

For instance, did you know that if you leave your home unoccupied for more than four days in winter, you may be denied coverage for any water related damage if you fail to appoint a responsible party to check your home while you are gone? So you may not be a snowbird but you should have your home checked even during short escapes from winter or vacations at any time of year.

30-Day vacancy rule

If you own rental property, you need to be aware of the 30-day vacancy rule. In short, this exclusion applies to homeowners facing vacancies in rental properties lasting longer than a month. Regardless of whether you are up-to-date on your insurance payments, your insurance company can deny coverage for fire or water damage if the property has remained unoccupied in that time period.

Landlords facing any extended vacancy should contact their insurance expert in order to maintain proper coverage. In these situations, you must inform your broker that a vacancy has occurred, and you can obtain a vacancy permit so your coverage will not lapse. You should be aware however, that this add-on coverage often excludes acts of vandalism and other malicious actions, so you will still want to keep an eye on your investment.

Maintaining your property

Since your property represents the bulk of your investment, it just makes sense to keep a detailed maintenance schedule that ensures the value of your investment keeps rising. This is also important when it comes to getting paid for your insurance claim. For example, a cracked foundation that allows water to seep in is a maintenance problem rather than an insurance issue. The same goes for damage caused by animals chewing your back deck to the point of making it unsafe. You need to maintain your property or you may end up covering the costs of such damage out of pocket.

Expert advice on vacant home insurance

If you have any questions about home insurance, or would like some no obligation quotes, please contact Mitch Insurance Brokers at 1-800-731-2228 or email us at We’d be happy to help you with any type of insurance you may need.

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