As a property owner, it is your job to keep your home safe and secure. Your lender is counting on you to do so. And, you are likely not willing to lose money on your property. But, things change. You wind up moving, and your home sits unoccupied for some time. Or you find yourself unable to be at home due to a long illness. What you may not know is your home insurance company requires you to let them know if your home is vacant or unoccupied. And, if you have a seasonal home, you need to insure it properly, too.
What to Know About Vacant Home Insurance
Some property owners are finding it is taking a bit longer to sell their homes. It is not uncommon for a homeowner to move into a new home and wait until a buyer steps in for their existing home. But, what happens if someone breaks into that vacant home and damages the home’s structure? Not only can you not sell it in this condition, but your home insurance may not cover the losses.
Why not? Home insurance companies will not cover a vacant home for very long. Most of the time, they will only cover it for 30 days. If you do not report that the home is vacant, you may not even have coverage for losses that occurred. That means all of that work you have to put into fixing the problems is coming out of your pocket.
If your home is going to be vacant, tell your insurance agent. Then, find out if you can obtain a specialized vacant home policy if it is likely to be like this for long.
What About Unoccupied Homes?
An unoccupied home is one in which your home’s furniture remains in place. The utilities are still on, too. A good example of what happens here has to do with an illness. The property owner is sick and recovering away from home for a long time. The problem is, your home is at risk during this time, too. People in the neighborhood know you are not there, making the home at high risk for break-ins and theft.
Again, unless the home insurance company knows about this unoccupied state, chances are good you are going to have to foot the bill for the losses you experience. This is because there is no one to monitor the property for you.
If you know your home is going to be unoccupied for 30 to 60 days or longer, contact your home insurance provider. Let them know about this. Even better, hire someone to live in your home while you are gone.
Meeting Seasonal Home Insurance Requirements
A seasonal home is one you do not use every day, but you use it a few times a year. Some insurers will extend your existing home insurance policy to this home. Others will not. In all cases, you need a policy in place for it. Otherwise, your seasonal home may lack coverage at the worst times.
How to Navigate the Process
It can be confusing to insure a home that is vacant, unoccupied, or seasonal. When you work with a licensed home insurance agent from Frydach Insurance, you reduce at least some of your risk. The key is to be thorough in explaining to the agent what is happening with the home. The agent can then customize a policy to meet the individual needs of that property, reducing the risk you will be unprotected for any length of time.