Insuring Your Home When Abroad


Disclaimer: This article is intended for information purposes, with the sole objective of providing food for thought. Under no circumstances should it be construed as advice regarding insurance solutions. Only a duly certified insurance professional is qualified to analyze your personal situation, discuss your needs with you and advise you on insurance solutions.

2nd article of a series called Insurance for Adventurers, dedicated to the intrepid Wild Raven Team that is canoeing across Canada.

What to do with your home insurance when planning a long trip

If you own a house or a condo and you’re planning to be away for several months, will you be selling your home or leasing it out? If you are only renting, you might keep the lease and sublet it, furnished or not. You’ll have to keep your insurance to protect your personal property and keep liability coverage, but you’ll also be on the hook if your tenant refuses to pay his monthly lease.

Insuring a vacant dwelling

A standard homeowner’s policy is issued to someone who owns the dwelling and lives there primarily. The rate you are paying is based on one essential bit of information, the fact that you live there, which won’t be the case soon. You could get secondary home insurance, but it tends to be more expensive, especially if you want protection against theft and vandalism.

You’ll have to warn your insurance company about your plans and see whether they’ll accept to continue your coverage, no doubt at a higher cost to you. The insurer will no doubt refuse to even consider it unless you comply to all his requirements, namely to have someone swing by your house daily to pick up the mail and give the house the illusion someone is living there.

It could be easier to have a friend move in while you’re gone, and to add him to the policy as an insured person. Please remember that during the winter months, you cannot leave your house unattended for more than 48 hours without telling your insurer. If a pipe freezes and bursts and you did not take any precautions to prevent this, you might not be covered. Read your policy to see what your responsabilities are.

Insuring a rented dwelling

If you’ve opted to lease your dwelling, you’ll need a new insurance policy that still covers the dwelling and its content as well as lost revenues should you miss out on rent while repairs are ongoing after a claim. It’s easy to get this kind of policy when you already have a homeowner’s policy, but it will be more challenging now that you don’t have a primary residence. Have someone close to you become the contact person on site for emergencies in order to make your life easier and less stressful.

For everything insurance related

You already have one foot out the door? Wait up, you’ll need liability coverage, which you might no longer have if you have no home and therefore no home insurance. Keep reading these articles…

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