Whether you are retiring, working from home or just looking to escape, there has never been more options for Albertans to get away during the colder months. While this glamorous life may seem more attainable than ever, it is still important to consider your home and its insurance policy before you leave. Are you a “snowbird?” Do you plan on “migrating” this winter? Read Capital Insurance Brokers’ five tips below to make sure you return to a home as you left it.
#1: Vacation vs. Vacancy
Unknown to many homeowners, some insurance policies will voided should it be left unoccupied too long. The severity of these rules vary, but can range from lapsing after a few months of vacancy to losing parts of coverage if someone does not enter your home every 24 hours during seasonal conditions. If you need to know the specifics of your own policy, simply contact your insurance broker and inform them of your travel plans.
#2: Water, Water, Everywhere
If you are leaving your home for an extended period of time turning off your water main may be a crucial decision, especially in the winter. The main line of your home’s water supply system can be vulnerable to freezing, bursting and flooding. This is because the water does not circulate as it normally would when you are there, living your normal routine. Another difference is that you would be able to catch the problem early if you were home, whereas the extent of the damage could spread while you are away.
#3: Prevent Events
Not only can installing sensors and failsafes protect your home, it might even make you eligible for discounted insurance premiums. Sump pumps and backflow valves are common solutions for burst pipes, flooding and sewage backups. Cameras, motion sensors, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, automatic sprinklers and even timed lights are all used to prevent other common threats.
#4: Eye In The Sky
Modern smartphones and apps have countless solutions for monitoring your home remotely, which can often soothe a homeowner’s anxieties. While this seems like high-level security to some, it may actually be a false sense of confidence. Just as technology advances, scammers create workarounds just as quickly– often targeting homes with the newest devices. There is also a new danger of revealing that your home is vulnerable: social media! Avoid posting publicly about any vacations, especially if your home is unoccupied long-term. Always use technology or social media responsibly and be aware of their potential consequences.
#5: Keep It Old School
There is a solution, trusted for centuries, that we have yet to mention– asking a neighbour! As long as you trust the person, do not hesitate to ask someone to check on your home regularly. Neighbours, relatives and even house-sitting services can all be valuable resources for snowbirds planning to fly the coop. Not only can this preserve your home insurance policy’s coverage, they may also catch a problem before it gets serious.
The five tips above are only a summary of what snowbirds can do to protect their home while they are away. Questions? Concerns? Contact or visit Capital Insurance Brokers today!