Introducing SWG PROPERTY: Commercial & Residential Vacant Property Program by Opal

December 15, 2021

The recent increase in vacant properties has drawn attention nationwide, and that trend shows no sign of abating. In 2019, there were 66,000 empty homes in Toronto, 64,000 vacant houses in Montreal, and 20,000 vacant properties in Calgary, Ottawa, and Edmonton. (1) While investor speculation and short-term rentals certainly contribute to high vacancy rates in urban areas, they are not the only reasons for your clients' vacant properties.

From July 2019 to July 2020, Statistics Canada reports, Montreal and Toronto lost a record number of residents as urbanites moved to suburbs, smaller towns, and rural areas. (2) Additionally, the pandemic has slowed international travel, but it has led to an increase in interprovincial travel. Last winter, CBC reports that 3,533 people from other provinces moved to New Brunswick to find cheaper housing. (3)

This means that brokers can expect a greater demand for vacant property coverage. As a result of this growing need, South Western Group (SWG) has expanded its in-house vacant property program.

In addition to our current in-house vacant property program, we now offer an alternative outside market through Opal.

In conjunction with AEGIS London's Opal, SWG now has an external market option. (4) In addition to our current in-house vacant property program, we now offer an alternative outside market through Opal.

This program is designed to:

  1. Cover vacant property while under renovations or getting ready to flip it
  2. Provide property coverage while unoccupied

Providing convenient coverage options for all types of vacancies

With a broad scope of insurance coverage, brokers will be able to provide comprehensive insurance policies, whether their client is renovating, selling, or simply owns a vacant property. SWG’s new Commercial and Residential Vacant Property Program also means brokers can provide All Risks or Named Perils under Opal for their clients' coverage policies. In addition, All Risks coverage can be extended up to 75 years old. But the program offers much more.

About SWG’s Commercial and Residential Vacant Property Program

Coverage and Eligibility

By commercial property, we mean single-occupancy buildings (no multi-occupancy).

Residential property means detached and semi-detached homes, duplexes and townhouses (no condos).

Quotes can now be generated for:

Risks with up to two mortgages

Risks aged under 30 years old with no updates to electrics, HVAC & plumbing

Risks aged 30 to 75 years old with updates to roof within the past 20 years & updates to electrics, HVAC & plumbing within the past 30 years

Can offer 3 or 6-month policy terms, remaining on risk up to a maximum of 18 months

Can offer options for Named Perils & All Risk Coverage, subject to market guidelines

Optional deductibles up to $5000

Can write both residential and commercial risks.

Brick Veneer risks up to 1.5 million TIV limit and commercial (non-combustible) risks up to 2 million TIV limit


SWG PROPERTY – Commercial Property Liability is designed to cover hard-to-place property accounts. We can accommodate most realty-type risks, from stand-alone rentals and vacant dwellings, to large commercial risks, with an in-house capacity of up to $6,000,000.

Coverage Highlights:

Broad Form or Named Perils

Replacement Cost


Dependent on individual risk, age, construction, occupancy and town grade

Other Coverages Include:

Business Interruption, Rental Income

Flood, Quake, Sewer Backup

Crime – including Employee Dishonesty & Broad Form Money & Securities

Mechanical Breakdown

Extension Packages:

Personal Property of Officers and Employees

Growing Plants, Trees, Shrubs or Flowers in the Open; Limited to $1,000 per plant

Accounts Receivable

Stock Spoilage

Building By-Laws

Inflation Protection

Exhibition Coverage

Automatic Fire Suppression System Recharge Expense

Brands and Labels

Fire Fighting Expenses

New Acquired Locations (30 Days)


Equipment and Stock (Contents)

Debris Removal

Peak Season Increase

Contents Off Premises in the custody of Sales Representatives

Land and Water Pollution Clean Up Expense (Annual Aggregate)

Building Damage by Theft

Extra Expense

Valuable Papers

Off Premises Services Interruption

Electronic Data Processing Equipment and Media

Systems Breakdown Coverage

Fine Arts

Maximum value any one item; Any One Occurrence

Installation Floater

Professional Fees

Exterior Building Glass


Master Key


Most realty type risks are written on a “Premises” type form but full CGLs including Tenant’s Legal Liability are available.

We Cover:

Includes but is not limited to the list below. Contact us if you don’t see what you’re looking for.

Apartment Houses (with/out commercial occupancies)


Food Trucks/Hotdog Carts/Chip Trucks


Rented Dwellings

Retail Stores

Rooming Houses

Strip Plazas

Student Housing

Vacant Property

For more information, visit the SWG PROPERTY product page:

Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.


  4. AEGIS London is the brand name of AEGIS Managing Agency Ltd (AMAL) and the Opal system is a service provided by AMAL. AMAL acts as the Lloyd’s managing agent for AEGIS Syndicate 1225. AMAL is authorized by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the PRA and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The PRA and the FCA are the regulatory bodies for United Kingdom financial services