Some insurance policies are no-brainers – of course you’re
going to invest in home, car, health, and life insurance. However, when you
become an adult you’re given more responsibilities and you may not be aware of
the insurance policies you could get to cover them all.
One of those insurance policies is vacant home insurance.
More and more people are in need of it every year in the United States, and yet
not very many people know about it. Here we will explain what it is, how a
vacant home differs from an unoccupied home, and if you need to invest in it.
What Happens Without It
Last August, there were multiple break-ins in a neighborhood
by a group of burglars that caused between $5,000 and $10,000 in damages. This
scenario, straight out of the film Home
Alone, was only possible because each of the homes were completely void of
people. Eighteen homes were broken into, and there was no one there to do
anything about it.
Summer vacation can be a fun time to get out of the house
and travel for weeks – but it’s not so fun to return to a home that’s been
overrun with bugs. Insect infestation isn’t uncommon, especially during summer
months when homes are often left unoccupied and bugs are breeding at an
Winter can be just as dangerous a time to leave as summer –
not because of bugs but rather ice and the particularly troubling freezing
pipes that will wreak havoc to your water system.
Without the right insurance, these home owners will have to
pay out of pocket to cover the damage.
Historically, about 1 million homes are on sale and vacant
at any given time in the United States, but recently those numbers have
doubled. 2 million are on sale nationally, while an additional 17 million are
secondary homes or are abandoned and have been foreclosed. Property owners need
to have the appropriate coverage for their vacant homes if they want them to stay
safe and sell well or be vacation ready.
Vacant vs. Unoccupied
If your family vacations tend to last over 30 days, your
home may be in danger of not being as fully insured as you think. Typical home
insurance policies won’t cover claims of homes that were vacant for 30 to 60
days. This also applies to you if you move out of your home when you are trying
to sell it, or if you own a second home that is vacant a majority of the year.
homes have been completely moved out of; “unoccupied” homes on the other hand
mean that the resident is temporarily somewhere else. However,
if the home is empty for longer than 30 days, it doesn’t matter if it’s vacant
or unoccupied, your insurance will most likely not cover damages unless you get
vacant home insurance.
Make Up Gaps in Coverage
Because this insurance is becoming increasingly necessary
and popular, insurance agencies are updating their policies to help you. Some
even offer policies tailored to your specific needs – even creating vacant home
insurance that covers specific time periods, if needed.
Do You Need it?
If you know that your home will be empty for longer than 30
days, whether it’s due to going on vacation, being an actual vacation home, or
if you’re moving out while your home is on sale, you need vacant home insurance
to protect yourself from any damage that is incurred while you’re gone.
Most insurance agencies are willing to cover a wide variety
of homes. It is typical to see a policy offered for homes that are valued up to
$1 million, and they can be newly built or the most ancient house on the block.
These policies will usually cover homes that are empty for up to 36 months.
If you know that you need this insurance and that you are
eligible for it, do not hesitate to find the protection you need. Despite the
increasing necessity and popularity of the policy, some insurance carriers do
not offer it. Shop around to find a place that offers what you need at a
reasonable price. You won’t regret the feeling of peace you have leaving your home
for an extended amount of time.