In today’s real estate market, it is not uncommon for homes to remain unsold, forcing sellers to move and leave their property vacant. Vacant homes are at a higher risk for vandalism, malicious acts, water damage and glass breakage, meaning they are also riskier to insure. All Calgary home insurance contracts include a clause that states your coverage ends once your property has been vacant for 30 days.
This is not the same case as someone who has left temporarily for vacation. If you plan on returning to your house, it is considered “unoccupied” rather than “vacant”. For example, when a homeowner is away on a vacation, even if it is for more than 30 days, generally, their home insurance will still be valid.
“All Calgary home insurance contracts include a clause that states your coverage ends once your property has been vacant for 30 days”
~Chad Mullen, Lane’s Insurance
In order for you to retain partial insurance on your vacant house, you will need to ask your insurance provider for a “vacancy permit”. A vacancy permit, provides temporary insurance, which is often limited to an additional 3 months. The policy will be more limited, and will not include coverage against acts of vandalism. Also, there will be an additional premium, which will be more costly – possibly up to double the amount of your regular premium. Insurance carriers are not required to grant a vacancy permit, and they base their decision on a variety of factors, including the location of the home, the duration of the vacancy, and your personal claim history.
An important caveat to note is that you must contact your insurance carrier to request a vacancy permit before the end of the initial 30 days of vacancy. If you fail to do so, you will be unable to insure your home.
This blog post is part of the “Top 10 Home Insurance FAQ’s” eBook.