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Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Common Home Insurance Condition That Could Result in a Denied Claim This Winter

Canadians need to be aware of the vacancy provision contained in their insurance policies to make sure their homes are protected while they are away. A recent survey has found the majority of Canadians are unaware of one common home insurance condition that, if not met, eliminates coverage for household damage as a result of frozen pipes.

Damage from frozen pipes is a common issue for homeowners across Canada. Low temperatures cause the water in the pipes to freeze. As the water freezes into ice, it expands causing the pipes to rupture. Once the ice starts to melt, severe water damage can occur. Insurance providers have placed conditions on policies, as the damage is often worse if the homeowner is away when the pipes freeze.

The condition requires homeowners who are away for more than a few days to turn off water at the home’s main source and drain all pipes. Alternatively, they can arrange for someone to enter the house daily and ensure heat is maintained. The survey found that 91% of the 1,200 people surveyed were not aware of this condition.

This condition applies during the usual heating season, which for most regions is October to May. It’s very important that homeowners review their policies as the condition varies between insurance providers. Some providers maintain that homeowners must take action if they are away for a few days, while others give policyholders a week. A variety of insurance providers are updating this condition to allow for fire sprinkler systems to remain functional and for exceptions to be made in the case of medical emergencies.

Check in with your broker or company agent to make sure you’re following all the proper protocols to protect your home this winter.