What are the risks associated with vacant homes?
Vacant homes by default have an increased risk for things like fire, flooding, and theft since there is no one to monitor them on a regular basis. For example, if a heating system fails, causing a pipe to burst, the water damage might not be discovered for days or weeks. The prolonged period of time can cause even more damage than if the issue was addressed immediately. Another example is if the home has a full mailbox, the lawn is unmowed, or the property has other signs of vacancy. In this case, someone could break in, cause damage, and steal appliances or furniture. Not only are the risks increased, but the level of coverage needed is as well.
Why do you need to insure a vacant home?
If your home will be unoccupied for a period of time, you need vacant home insurance to protect your home and your investment, since home insurance only covers homes that are occupied.
What does this insurance policy cover?
A vacant home insurance policy may cover specified risks such as fire, flooding, wind, hail, and theft, depending on your coverage options. It may also cover the costs of repairing or even replacing your home if it is damaged or destroyed. In addition, it may cover liability claims that you can be held responsible for, such as bodily injury or damage to someone else’s property. Criminal acts like vandalism and other property damage can be covered as well. The important thing to remember is that your regular home insurance policy can reject coverage if the home is vacant when a loss occurs. That’s why it’s essential to have the right policy in place. Another factor is that, like any other insurance coverage, the policy needs to be in place before an incident occurs to be covered.
Real-world examples of how insurance protects vacant homes.
The same risks that face homes and other properties also apply to vacant homes. However, with vacant homes, there is an increased likelihood of certain risk factors. A home could be broken into by the previous owners of a foreclosed home who then destroy the interior. A small fire could start and damage neighboring homes before being stopped. A home under renovations could have appliances and fixtures stolen. These are the kinds of risks that may be covered in a vacant home insurance policy.
Do you have a house that’s currently unoccupied or will be soon? You may need vacant home insurance to help protect your investment. Contact us to discuss your coverage options.