Protecting Your Property While You Are Travelling
When winter winds blow, many of us turn our minds to a winter getaway – a warm and sun-drenched locale where we can spend time relaxing and escaping from the snow and cold temperatures.
Maybe you are a snowbird travelling south for part, most, or all of the Canadian winter. Or maybe you are planning a winter retreat for a week or so with family or a favorite someone.
While you are away you will want to make sure that your property is properly protected.
Before you leave for an extended vacation, it’s important to have a conversation with your Morison Insurance broker about your home and auto insurance coverage prior to your departure. Let your broker know your plans and the length of time that you plan on being away. Some insurance policies have a restriction on the length of time that you are able to be away from your home and still remain protected. It is important to know what your insurance company will require from you so that your coverage is not jeopardized.
Some important things to discuss and consider:
- Protecting your home from water damage! Before you leave for vacation, shut off your water completely and then turn on any taps and flush the toilets to drain any excess water. Taking this precaution will prevent your pipes from freezing or flooding causing damage to your home.
- Make arrangements for someone you trust to periodically check on your home and take care of its surroundings. A home that looks occupied is much less attractive to thieves.
- Foreign exchange rates! The liability limits on your auto insurance policy are in Canadian dollars but any damages that you are liable for in the US will be in US dollars. Your current liability limit may not be sufficient in the US since our Canadian dollar is lower than the US dollar. Having insufficient liability limits can leave you vulnerable to being sued for the balance.
- The US is a more litigious country than Canada and settlement amounts are often much higher in the US than in Canada. Accordingly, you have a higher likelihood of being sued in the US and being found liable for damages that exceed the standard coverage limits provided in your Canadian auto insurance policy. Canadians come from a no-fault environment, therefore, limits may not be high enough to cover the damages assessed against you if you have an accident in a tort system state.
- Adding or increasing your coverage for the Loss of Use or for Non-owned Vehicles with the OPCF 20 and OPCF 20 is the Loss of Vehicle Use Form. An OPCF 20 will cover the cost of a rental vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced (if the damage or loss is caused by a peril for which you are insured). It could take longer to repair the vehicle in the U.S. if it is a Canadian model, as some parts may not be readily available, so you may need a replacement vehicle for an extended period of time. Make sure that you have this coverage on your policy or purchase a higher limit. OPCF 27 Coverage for Non-Owned Vehicles -If your auto insurance policy includes the OPCF 27, you already have coverage for damage to a vehicle that you don’t own, such as a rental automobile. The change form does NOT apply to any vehicle under the loss or damage section of this policy where the Insured has assumed liability for a period of time exceeding 30 days.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your insurance policy limits or what your policy covers, give us a call.
Below are a few additional things you can do to make your home look lived in while you are away. These simple things can help to deter thieves.
- Keep your vacation plans to yourself. Among the ways that thieves can tell who is away is through social media. Don’t share your plans on social media.
- Arrange for a daily drop-in by a friend or family member. Have someone stay at your home or ask a friend, family member or neighbour to check-in daily. They change which lights are left on, move your car in the driveway etc.
- Set light timers. Set lights on timers in different rooms of your home. This will help to make the house look lived-in.
- Newspapers and mail. Put a temporary stop on your newspaper delivery and ask a friend, family member or neighbor to pick up your mail each day.
- Maintain the area around your home. Ask someone to shovel snow and take the snow off any vehicles in your driveway.
Another consideration is travel insurance. For answers to questions about your travel insurance needs go to the Government of Canada website.
Are you wondering where Canadians often travel to escape winter?
Many Canadians head to Cuba, Jamaica, Florida, Dominican Republic, Barbados and The Bahamas and Aruba are all popular destinations.
According to the website Canadian Bucket List, some of the top destinations for Canadian snowbirds are Florida, Costa Rica, Panama, Hawaii, Mexico, Cuba, California and Arizona.
Finally, to get you in a vacation-kind-of-mood, here are a few inspirational travel quotes.
“I love places that make you realize how tiny you and your problems are.” — Anonymous
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” — Anonymous
“It isn’t how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable: it’s how you spend the time.” — David Brenner
“There is no way to happiness- happiness is the way.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
“Travel not to find yourself but to remember who you’ve been all along.” — Anonymous
Come walk with me, take off your shoes, let’s walk the beach with only the moon to light the path and waves to hear you tell me you love me. Why does the ocean rock the moon to sleep every night? So the sun will wake and kiss the beach — Henson
Some beach somewhere, there’s a big umbrella casting shade over an empty chair. Palm trees are growing, warm breezes blowing. I picture myself there, some beach somewhere. — Anonymous
Beach Rules: Soak up the sun. Ride the waves. Breathe the salty air. Feel the breeze. Build sandcastles. Rest, relax, reflect. Collect seashells. Bare-feet required. — Anonymous
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” — Mark Twain
Our insurance team hopes you have a wonderful and safe holiday wherever your travels take you.