Owners of vacant homes have different insurance needs than other homeowners . Vacant homes are exactly what they sound like- vacant. Generally, a home is considered vacant if its residents have vacated the premise and are unlikely to return; however, home insurance providers may differ in how they define vacant homes in their policies.
What May a Vacant Home Policy Cover?
An insurance policy that provides coverage for a vacant home may provide coverage for the structure but would not generally cover the land that the structure is on in the event of a covered loss subject to the policy’s terms. Landlords who are between tenants and homeowners who have already vacated their home and are looking to sell may be able to seek coverage under a vacant home policy in the event of a covered loss subject to the policy’s terms. In addition, coverage may be provided, subject to the policy’s terms, during periods of time when a home is unoccupied and under construction. The coverages afforded in an insurance policy that covers a vacant home vary by carrier but may include coverage for fire, lightening, smoke, explosions, windstorms, and hail damage, subject to the policy’s terms.
Certain types of homes, such as those homes with pools or trampolines, may not qualify for liability coverage on vacant home policies. If a home has previously sustained damage to the roof or windows, it also may be ineligible for a policy. It’s important to let your insurance agent know of any existing damage to a home to help facilitate the policy quoting and issuance process.
What Are Some of The Main Risks Associated with Vacant Homes?
When a home is vacant, there is likely no one monitoring the residence, which may result in a leak or fire going undetected for some period of time, which can result in damage to the residence. For homes located in regions where snowstorms may occur, snow may not be promptly removed from the vacant homes. Similarly, in regions where windstorms or hurricanes may occur, any damage resulting from issues with pre-vacating boarding may go undetected for a period of time.
Vacant homes also may be at risk for vandalism and theft, which may result in damage to the structure’s walls, floors, and appliances. Air conditioning units and copper parts, such as piping, may also be subject to theft.
If you have a vacant home give our insurance agents a call at 844-232-2700 to discuss your coverage options.