You may not realize that an unoccupied home or a vacant home is one that could lack home insurance coverage. If you are like many people, you go on with your day without thinking twice about letting your insurance agent know what you are doing. However, if you are moving out of your home for any length of time – even for a long vacation – you need to tell them. If you do not, it could cost you big time.
What Coverage Does Your Home Insurance Offer?
Most home insurance policies do not cover any type of long-term vacancy for your property. The content of your policy will specifically outline your requirements to inform your agency of the vacancy at your home, too. Why do they care?
Specifically, a home without anyone living in it is at a higher risk than others. For example, you move out but leave the home empty for a while; there is no one there to keep it safe. This means it is likely to be broken in to or vandalized. Here’s a look at what your limitations may be.
A vacant home is one where no one is living in it. You’ve moved your furniture out of the home. You no longer have the utilities operational. This home is not one someone could easily live in the next day. Most home insurance policies only cover vacant homes for up to 30 days. And, in this case, only if you inform the insurer in advance.
Not many companies offer vacant home insurance policies. The risks are too high. Someone could enter the home, cause thousands of dollars worth of damage, even setting it on fire, and there is no one there to prevent it. If your home is vacant, discuss this with your agent and talk about security options thoroughly.
Another type of concern comes from the unoccupied home. This type of home has furniture in it, the utilities on, and someone could live there right away if desired. This home is still a big risk to the insurer simply because there is no one to know what is happening at the home.
Imagine what would happen if someone found out the home was unoccupied. They could enter it, steal from you, and you may not know for several days. Home insurance companies limit coverage for unoccupied homes to under 60 days. And, again, you need to inform the company in advance of this occurring.
A seasonal home is one requiring a specialized insurance policy in most cases. The coverage generally needs to be specific to the way you use it. For example, if you use it on the weekends most weeks, be sure the agent knows this. If you rent it out – which is common for some people who own second homes in Madison and the surrounding area, then you need a customized policy for this, too.
Be open and honest about your use of your seasonal home. Some insurers may simply extend your existing primary residence policy to cover these homes. In most cases, you will need a sperate policy.
Avoid the Risks with the Right Agent
Work with a home insurance agent that understands your situation and can offer specific solutions. In most cases, vacant home insurance and unoccupied home insurance is hard to obtain. You want a licensed insurance agent who can help you navigate this difficult area with ease.
More so, be sure to inform your agent right away when you leave the home. At Homewood Insurance Agency, we are here to help you adjust your policy to fit your life.