If your former home hasn’t sold, your vacant property could fall victim to the elements, system failure, vandalism or burglary. Take steps to lessen the risk for potentially costly issues.
Maintain the exterior
Don’t let your property look neglected. Make arrangements to have your lawn mowed or, in winter, your driveway shovelled. Trim branches that could fall and damage your roof during a storm, and clean out clogged gutters to avoid water damage. Check that exterior lights are working.
Take precautions inside
Install working deadbolts on exterior doors, and make sure all windows are securely locked. Set your thermostat at a constant temperature (high enough in winter to prevent freezing). Seal up pet doors to keep out pests, animals and other potential intruders.
Enhance the vacant property's security
Add motion-sensor lights and entry alarms. Keep bushes trimmed to remove potential hiding places for burglars. Close the curtains and blinds to prevent people from seeing in. Use timers for lights, and consider adding a unit that simulates a flickering TV to deter criminals.
Round up support
Enlist neighbours or friends for additional vacant property protection. Ask them to alert you of any concerns and occasionally park in the driveway to help make your home seem occupied. Notify the police and the fire department that the house will be vacant, and leave your phone number with them.
Protect your investment
Be aware that if your home is vacant for a month or more, your homeowners insurance may not cover losses that occur while it’s vacant. You may need to add a vacancy endorsement to your policy. Talk with your Desjardins Agent about your options.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance or Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company, underwriter of life insurance and living benefits products.