The winter months are on the horizon and the snowbirds are preparing to head south. For some of us who still have to work, but may be able to slip away for a week or two during the winter months, here are some important insurance items to remember.

When leaving your home, condominium, or apartment for more than 3 consecutive days during the normal heating season (this period of time may vary depending on the insurance company), your insurance may not pay for water damage caused by the freezing UNLESS you do one the following:

Arrange for a competent person to enter your home daily to make sure the heat is maintained in order to avoid the possibility of pipes freezing.

Better yet, you should consider having them enter every room to ensure no damage has occurred.


Turn off the water supply coming into the home and bleed all the pipes, drains and appliances before you leave.


Have your plumbing and heating systems connected to a monitored alarm station providing 24-hour service.

In addition, as a property owner, you have a duty of care to make sure your property is safe for access to two different types of visitors:


A group of visitors who enter other people’s property for their own personal benefit or to perform their professional duties (firefighters, postal workers, and utility companies); and


A group of people who enter another person’s premises at the invitation of the owner.

Therefore, snow removal and salting would be important to arrange while you are away in order to avoid a bodily injury or slip and fall claim. It is highly recommended that you review your home insurance policy to better understand your coverage, limitations, and conditions. Your insurance broker can help you better understand your policy.

These are just a few suggestions regarding your property to keep in mind prior to your departure. Contact your broker to confirm your coverage. Other than that, have a great time, enjoy the sun, wear sunblock and don’t forget your travel insurance!