Are you are already itching to escape our Canadian cold? This could be the first year you have decided to travel post-pandemic. Whatever your situation, we want you to have the best memories that are not clouded by an unfortunate event at home while you are away this winter.

Protecting your home from the Canadian cold

The frigid temperatures that we can experience in Ontario can wreak havoc on your home, especially if your home is unoccupied. If you plan to be away from home for more than 4 consecutive days during the heating season, you have an obligation under your house insurance policy to take steps to prevent the freezing of your water pipes.

If you are away from your home for a period determined by the insurance company, you must:

  • Arrange for a competent person to enter the dwelling to ensure heating was maintained or;
  • Ensure the water supply was shut off and pipes and all domestic water containers were drained or;
  • The heating system is connected by a monitored heating alarm to a station providing 24-hour service.

In the event of a claim due to frozen water pipes, your insurer will complete an investigation. The insurance company will determine if you have been away from your home and if you have taken the appropriate steps to protect your home.

If you did not, the insurance company has the right to deny your claim leaving you with repair bills to pay on your own.

Each insurance company’s policy differs. If you are preparing for an upcoming vacation, please call us to discuss your insurance company’s policy so we can help you can prepare your home appropriately.

Protecting your home from other threats

If your home is unoccupied for any significant length of time, you could be at a higher risk of experiencing a break-in or theft.
Our partners at Aviva have created a list of precautions that you can take to protect your home while you are away.

  • Make it look occupied. Park a car in the driveway, install an indoor light timer, place newspaper subscriptions on hold, or ask a neighbour to collect your mail.
  • Install a security device with a loud alarm or flashing lights.
  • Use deadbolt locks on all doors. Ensure doors, including garages and sheds, are locked and secured. Be sure to remove any house keys from obvious hiding places, such as under doormats or flowerpots.
  • Ensure all windows are locked.
  • Have your walkway shovelled after every snowfall. Snow removal will make your home look occupied.

Your home is likely your biggest investment so protect it from catastrophic events that can be prevented. When you return home from your vacation, you should be able to cherish the memories and photos without having to deal with an insurance claim.

Roughley’s team of insurance professionals is standing by to answer your call. If you have questions about your insurance, we invite you to call us and speak to one of our team members.

Please follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn, and also continue to visit our website, where we share relevant insurance news and office updates.

We are available Monday to Friday, 9am until 4:30pm.

Oshawa Location
Phone: 905.576.7770 • Toll Free: 1.888.558.0883
Fax: 905.576.3610
[email protected]

Bowmanville Location
Phone: 905.697.4257 • Toll Free: 1.888.558.0883
Fax: 289.316.3662
[email protected]