Have you ever owned or managed a vacant property? If so, you probably already know that a vacant or unoccupied property can raise serious concerns in the eyes of your insurance company. In fact, many insurers will refuse coverage for properties that are unoccupied for more than a few weeks. Instead of taking an unnecessary risk, take out unoccupied or vacant home insurance before you leave your property unattended. Click here to read on and find out more about who can benefit from vacant home insurance.
Empty Homes Pose Greater Insurance Risks
Insurers consider both vacant and unoccupied homes to be a much higher risk to insure than homes that are used as a primary residence. There are several reasons for the higher risk rating, including the higher chances of a crime-related claim. Vandals and thieves are more likely to breach properties that are clearly vacant – especially those that have been uninhabited for more than one or two months.
Additionally, insurers recognize that the presence of a homeowner or tenant can significantly reduce the amount of loss sustained when unexpected circumstances cause damage to the property. Imagine, for example, a fire breaks out, frozen pipes burst, or a storm causes damage to the structure of your home. The fire may be more quickly contained when someone is present to use a fire extinguisher or call emergency services. A home that would have been a total loss might instead sustain only limited damage. On the other hand, an empty home with a burst pipe could undergo tremendous water damage, and storm damage could easily go unnoticed for long periods of time, causing further problems to develop, such as infestation, mold or rot.
Unoccupied or Vacant Home Qualifications
The details of “vacancy” versus “unoccupied” may vary from insurer to insurer. However, according to the International Risk Management Institute, the courts define a vacant home as one in which there are not enough furnishings in the housing unit to support a person living there. Therefore, the property would be considered vacant if there is no bed, appliances or place to sit. A home that is fully furnished but unused would typically be considered unoccupied.
There are many types of properties that could be considered vacant or unoccupied. Examples include:
- Vacation homes
- Homes unoccupied when owners are on extended vacation, or homes under renovation
- Homes listed for sale (if you’ve already moved out)
- Rental properties (between tenants)
- or an estate you manage
Vacant Home Insurance to Meet Your Needs
If you think your property may be considered vacant or unoccupied, do not rely on your homeowners insurance for coverage without first talking with an agent. Policies are available for specific term lengths, whether it is three months or a year. In addition, coverage can be included to secure outside structures and possessions, such as a lawnmower.
The team at our agency can help you examine your current policy for vacant home exclusions and help you find the coverage you need. Call us today to speak with one of our helpful team members and to request your quote. We look forward to serving you soon.