Do insurance companies suggest a house sitter?
Are you aware that most home insurance policies do not cover homes that are empty for longer than 30 days? Should they consider it, the premiums will be increased and could become very expensive. In many parts of Canada, some insurers won’t provide cover if a home is empty for more than 4 days. Because of the intense cold, the risk of burst pipes during the winter months are just too high.
Most insurance companies prefer that you use a house sitter rather than leaving a home empty, increasing the risk of burglary. Discuss this with your insurance company to check any specific policy requirements. Your home and contents insurance usually becomes invalid when your home was empty for 30 (or sometimes 60) successive days. Every home and contents policy contains a ‘vacancy clause’.
Your insurance shouldn’t be affected, as long as your house remains occupied. House sitting is considered practical for properties which would otherwise stand vacant for long periods, as it is generally understood that crime is dissuaded by the presence of a house sitter.
A newly developed type of house sitting which are widely accepted and even preferred in some cases, is the contracting of house sitters who do not live on the premises. The sitter performs regular visits as determined in advance by the home owner’s insurance policy.
Will the house sitter be insured by your insurer?
Research shows that house sitters are usually covered under your home insurance policy. As there are exceptions to every rule, check with your insurance provider to confirm that it is true for your policy. Find out whether your house sitter’s personal belongings will be covered. Inform your insurer of how long you will be away. Advise your house sitter accordingly.
If you are paying for a house sitter then it is likely that they have their own insurance. A house sitter that charges for the service should have insurance. There are however free house sitters available too.
Whatever the case with your house sitter, confirm this with your insurance provider before agreeing on a house sitting assignment.
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