Are you on vacation, remodeling, in lengthy medical care, waiting for a house sale to close, or have a vacation property where you always spend part of the time? When you own property that has been empty or uninhabited for a period of more than two months at any given time, you might consider obtaining unoccupied home insurance to guarantee that your home and possessions (as well as other assets) are properly protected. In this post, we’ll define unoccupied house insurance, discuss when you may need coverage, and address some frequently asked concerns.
What Exactly Is Vacant House Insurance?
Whenever you leave your house unoccupied, you raise the danger of structural damage and theft. Furthermore, no one is there to detect smoke, locate a leaky or broken pipe, secure the property against natural catastrophes, or report any concerns with the residence.
As a result, most typical homeowners’ plans will terminate or halt your coverage if your house is empty for longer than two months or even one month in certain cases. They do not want to take on the increased risk which comes with an empty home.
This implies that your unoccupied home is not just more vulnerable to theft and damage, but it is also not covered by insurance. Unoccupied house insurance is considered a type of homeowners policy that covers homes that have been empty for over two months and are no longer eligible for normal home insurance.
Who Is in Need of Vacant House Insurance?
Some instances in which your house may remain empty for longer than two months include:
- Your house is on the market, and you’ve already relocated
- You’ve been admitted to a long-term care facility, and nobody will be residing in your home
- You are awaiting probate for an inherited home
- You’ve recently acquired a new house and don’t intend to move in for a few months.
- This house is not your primary residence; rather, it is a vacation home that is kept unoccupied for part or all of the year
- You are the landlord owning an apartment(s) or a house, and you are in the process of finding new tenants
- Your house is being remodeled, and it is now unsafe to live in
Unoccupied house insurance is highly suggested if your home would be uninhabited for longer than a few months. Although certain jurisdictions require all residences to have financiers and some lenders may need complete homeowners coverage regardless of residency status, and liability insurance, it is normally not required by law.
What Is Covered By Vacant House Insurance?
Unoccupied house insurance is comparable to conventional home insurance like those from allstate.com, however, it could have additional limitations that you should be aware of. When shopping for unoccupied house insurance, confirm that it covers the following identified perils:
- Fire, lightning, and explosion
- Storms, hailstones, and windstorms
- Water damage
When it comes to unoccupied house insurance, two more forms of insurance that are very essential but sometimes forgotten are legal expenditures and public liability.
If your residence causes harm to another person’s property, public liability insurance kicks in. For instance, when a tree branch out of your property crashes on a neighbor’s vehicle, or if a broken pipe produces a flood in your neighbor’s landscaping. Since there is a greater risk when you are not present, public liability may shield you from being burdened with a hefty fine.
Whether you have to evict trespassers or squatters from your unoccupied house, legal expenditures might assist pay the costs. This may be a major problem, particularly if your property is vacant for an extended period of time, and fighting squatters could be time-consuming and expensive. You should check to see whether your empty house insurance policy covers legal charges.
If you have possessions in your house, keep an up-to-date home inventory list for contents coverage. Since not all unoccupied home insurance policies offer contents coverage, make sure your insurance broker adds it to your insurance policy should you keep the items (furniture, jewelry, gadgets, or clothes) in your house.
Elements That Influence the Cost of Unoccupied House Insurance
Some of the elements influencing the cost of unoccupied house insurance include:
- The security of the property: If the property is vacant, adding additional security systems can help prevent criminals, lowering the likelihood of a claim and, therefore, the cost of your insurance.
- The value of the property: The more costly the property, the more expensive it will be to repair or rebuild, making it more expensive to insure.
- The property’s location: If the property is in a region that is prone to floods or has a high crime rate, there is a greater possibility that a claim will be filed. This raises the cost of insurance.
- Your coverage level: If you want a higher coverage level, such as adding extras to your policy, you will have to pay more to insure.
As with any insurance type, it is hard to provide a particular amount since your policy will be tailored to your unique needs. Every property and every insurance company is unique. However, you should be aware that it often costs somewhat more than standard house insurance since there is an elevated risk connected with no one being present at the property.
Even though the overall cost of unoccupied house insurance varies, shorter contracts are generally available than the traditional one-to-two-year term with a conventional homeowners policy. Depending on how long you anticipate your house to remain empty, you might as well be willing to apply for three, six, nine, or 12 months. This is indeed a highly specialized type of home insurance that meets all of your coverage needs while also having a shorter contract time.
Are you unsure if you may need unoccupied house insurance to safeguard your life, valuables, and property? Speak with an expert about your specific circumstances, and they’ll assist you in finding the most complete coverage at the best price.
Whether you currently have house insurance, check with your existing insurer to see if it provides temporary supplementary protection for empty properties and what it covers. If you require specialty insurance, it’s a good idea to compare plans from several firms to discover the best coverage for your needs.
Don’t be tempted to get the cheapest insurance you can find; it may not be the best one for you.