The Home Watch Industry
Home Watch – An Profession in a Critical Stage of Evolution
Home Watch is a profession on the way to becoming an official industry. It is the beginning of industry-specific regulations, standards, tests, certification, and credentials. Home Watch does not have its own category for business listings on social media or website search engines. Nor is there is single unique code for Home Watch business insurance coverage, and most insurance companies are not sure how to write a policy for Home Watch companies.
Technically, anyone can start a Home Watch business and take keys to the homes of seasonal residents. It is on-the-job-training for many service providers. In many cases, there are disastrous results.
Much has changed in the last decade. The original Home Watchers were often Neighbors Doing Favors. They were certainly not insured or trained. Hobby Home Watchers started to collect fees but never established a business structure, often were not insured, did not even have a contract with their clients. The seasonal homeowners believed that this was the standard and, years ago, it was.
With the introduction of professional training, home watch software, trade organizations, and social media, Home Watch has gained visibility. However, professional standards and consistency of message are still evolving.
The insurance industry has introduced some language in their homeowner policies to address the potential denial of a damage claim if there is no proof that the home had someone checking on it. However, it is ill-defined. They use terms like house-sitter or caretaker. There is no reference to professional Home Watch.
It is time to make a change, and the time is now. The International Home Watch Alliance is here to lead the way.