A must read for any home owners, if they have pets, and even especially if not. Important information you need to know about your Insurance Policy before going on holiday. Do not come back from vacation to find out your insurance is not valid. Do I need a pet sitter? Will a pet sitter look after a home for people who do not have pets? How to keep my home safe when I go on holiday.
Many home owners are in the dark about a vital piece of information regarding their Home Insurance Policy and pet sitters, a small fact that even non-pet owners need to be aware of. Most people do not read through their policies enough to find out this crucial tidbit that will be shared here. If you rent your home, and have tenant insurance, this may also prove important information for yourself.
Most families take a yearly vacation, some go away for a few days, while others go away for a few weeks. Typically pet owners may take their pets to a boarding kennel or many will even bring them along on the holiday, leaving their house empty. Pet sitters are another option which we will get into later. For people who don't own pets there are fewer concerns. Perhaps they cancel the newspaper and mail, or maybe have a neighbor pick it up every few days. Somebody shovels the walk in the winter, mows the lawn in the summer, or rakes leaves in the fall, and keeps an eye on the outside of the house. For these people that is pretty much it.
Back now to the pet owner and pet sitters. The pet owner who leaves their pet behind may have the kind of pet that requires very little care, a fish, it can be fed with vacation food and then left. Even cats can be left for a few days. How long is too long depends not on the law, but on what an owner feels is fair. They often have a neighbor or friend come in and check on the pet at predetermined intervals. A few take the wise step and hire bonded professional pet sitters.
Photo by Author. Why is this kitten so smug looking? Because he knows what pet sitters have to do with home insurance.
What does any of this have to do with home insurance?
Most home insurance companies have a vacation, or holiday, clause which few home owners are even aware of. Typically the clause will state how long a home owner (or renter) can be away from their home before their insurance is invalid if something should happen, lets say a toilet overflows and floods the house. For many insurance companies this window of time is 48-72 hours. That means if you go away for four days and come home to a disaster, your insurance is void.
The best way to beat this is by having somebody check on your home regularly while you are away. This is one of the services offered by a professional pet sitter. They come to your home to check your pet, but additionally are checking your house too. With hiring a professional to make regular checks the insurance is still valid. You just have to find out how often they require somebody to check on your home in your absence.
Pet owners would usually have somebody coming once a day, or more frequently if they have a dog. Even cats enjoy company from time to time. The thing is a friend or neighbor might not be believed in the event of a home disaster. Where as a bonded, professional, pet sitter, is somebody who the home insurance companies recognize as being trustworthy.
People who do not have pets are hiring pet sitters to check on their homes daily, or every two days, while they are on holiday as a way of not only collecting piles of mail, but also of ensuring their home insurance remains valid while they are gone.
Before you plan your next trip or get-away check your home owners insurance policy. Even renters should check their insurance policy if they have one. Do not let your holiday be ruined by coming home to find out not only are your contents missing, or damaged, but to find out your home insurance policy will not cover you at all!
*Please note that not all insurance companies have these clauses, you are best to call your insurance provider and ask. I have written this based on the policies of some companies in Canada, but there are similar lines in policies elsewhere. It is up to you to know what your policy restricts.*
How Long can I Leave My Pets Home Alone?
What to Look for when Choosing a Pet Sitter