Header bg
  • section background

    Should You Insure Vacant Property?

    Hero bg 2
    insurance for vacant properties

    Do you spend your summers at your vacation home? Or do you own a condo that is currently unoccupied? If you own a building that you rent out, chances are that there will be situations when your property will be unoccupied or vacant for some time.

    If there’s no one living in the building, it may be prone to certain risks, but there are steps you can take to avoid unnecessary risks and additional costs on your behalf. In this article, we’ll discuss how to protect your unoccupied home with vacant home insurance, how long it can remain vacant, and what vacant property insurance covers.

    Related: What temperature should I keep my vacant house in summer?

    What is vacant home insurance and can you insure a vacant house?

    Vacant home insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects homes without any current residents. This kind of policy is different from typical home insurance. Many people assume their home insurance covers them — and it does, but only up to a point, and this is where vacant home insurance comes into play. Without someone there to check on or maintain the property, your home faces a much higher risk of significant damage, including vandalism and theft.

    It’s a good idea to let your insurer know when your home will be empty for an extended period so that you have the right insurance policy in place. That said, each home insurance company has its own guidelines on what “unoccupied” and “vacant” mean. Depending on your insurance company, if you will be away for an extended amount of time on a vacation, most insurers won’t require you to have a vacant home insurance policy since you have the intention to return to your home.

    Need Vacant Property Insurance?

    Learn More

    How long can my home remain unoccupied?

    Most policies won’t allow you to leave your home vacant for more than 30 days, your insurer can void your home insurance policy and deny claims if an unforeseen event occurs when no one is living at the property. However, if you’ve informed your insurance provider of the absence within 30 days then you’ll just need to pay a monthly fee for a vacancy permit. There’s also a chance there will be an increased premium as well.

    Related: What Happens When a House Sits Vacant

    What does vacant home insurance cover?

    Vacant home insurance coverages unfortunately do not provide the same coverage that a home insurance policy would. Depending on your insurance company, property damage perils such as flood or water damage, coverage for vandalism, and window damage coverage, may not be covered because there is a high risk associated with the property.

    Speaking with your broker before the property becomes empty will help you increase your protection and the length of your coverage. You can also take steps to prevent losses occurring while your home is left vacant, the following will help you reduce your insurance premiums:

    • Make sure your home looks occupied.

    • Close the curtains in the home so no one can see inside.

    • Make sure the lawn is maintained so it appears people are home.

    • Don’t let mail pile up outside, and have a friend or family member collect it for you.

    • Ask a friend or neighbour to check on your property for you.

    • Ensure the heating is maintained throughout the winter months if you’ll be away.

    • Install a time for your lights so they turn on and off throughout the day.

    • Lock all windows and doors.

    • Install a security system so you can remotely monitor your home.

    • Take steps to minimize infestations of mice or other rodents.

    • Shut off your main water supply to reduce the chance of a leak or a burst pipe while the home remains empty.

    Related: How much is vacant home insurance?

    Any home can be considered vacant at any time, it will depend on how you intend to use the property and the policies your insurance broker has in place for coverage. The simplest and easiest thing you can do is call your insurance company in advance to help protect you in the long run.

    Get an insurance quote and purchase vacant home insurance online in under five minutes. Our expert advisors can assess your policy needs and recommend the products suitable for you. Additionally, our online portal lets you quote, purchase, and bind a policy from anywhere, on any device, and at any time.

    APOLLO Has You Covered

    We can help you understand the benefits of Business Insurance, and get the kind of protection you need in minutes.

    Learn More

    Originally published February 22, 2022, updated August 25, 2023

    Back to APOLLO Magazine
    Share this article

    Get Tenant Insurance in less than a minute

    Get no-nonsense coverage that's the best value for your money. Purchase policies from your computer or phone, receive your documents instantly, and save when you buy online.

    Get a free quote

    4.6 rating

    Google Logo

    Get Tenant Insurance in less than a minute

    Get no-nonsense coverage that's the best value for your money. Purchase policies from your computer or phone, receive your documents instantly, and save when you buy online.

    Relevant articles

    section background
    section background

    Getting insured is as easy as 1 - 2 - 3

    Tell us (very little) about yourself

    Tell us (very little) about yourself

    Just tell us your address, your name, email and phone number. And that's it. We'll give you a price in less than a minute.

    Pay online easily and securely

    Pay online easily and securely

    You can choose to pay monthly or save money by paying for the entire year in one easy payment.

    Get your documents in your inbox - instantly

    Get your documents in your inbox - instantly

    As soon as you complete your purchase, you'll find your proof of insurance and policy documents waiting for you in your inbox.

    Get covered today - it couldn’t be easier

    We’ve provided more than 1,000,000 quotes to Canadians just like you. Give it a try!

    Google Logo


    4.6 rating

    1,581 reviews

    view all

    Across Canada

    Contact Us
    Apollo logo

    © 2024 APOLLO Insurance Solutions Ltd.

    111 Water Street, Unit 210, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1A7

    APOLLO Insurance Agency Ltd. (o/a APOLLO Brokerage in the province of Ontario only) is a licensed retail brokerage, offering our clients with a comprehensive set of insurance solutions to meet their individual needs. APOLLO Insurance Agency Ltd. maintains necessary corporate licensing in provinces across Canada. Availability of products and service depends on licensing and product availability. The information that appears on this page is provided for information purposes only. Advertised products and prices are not guaranteed and vary based on insurance provider and/or insurance company's discretion and product availability.

    Transparency and Disclosure: APOLLO Insurance Agency's role is to provide you with exceptional service and the best insurance products that suit your needs. As a licensed retail brokerage, our compensation is based on a commission basis already built into your insurance premium and varies based on the product purchased through our platform. For a description of how APOLLO Insurance Agency is compensated and how this is calculated, please refer to our Compensation Disclosure document. For consumers in Ontario, please review the RIBO Conduct Fact Sheet and the RIBO Conduct Guidance document.