Are losses to your home covered if your home is vacant?
It depends. Most homeowner policies contain exclusionary language for losses that occur when a home is deemed vacant. Typically a home is considered vacant when it is without contents and unoccupied for more than 30 to 60 days. This definition can vary by carrier.
When a home is unoccupied for a long period of time, the possibility for damage increases as vacant homes have an increased potential for vandalism, fire, flooding from burst pipes, being infested with insects or other vermin and liability issues. A vacant home will require either an endorsement or a separate policy, depending on the insurance company. Some insurance companies will not insure vacant homes at all.
Reasons you should consider purchasing vacant home insurance:
- If you have moved for a new job, but your home is vacant and unsold.
- You moved into a new home while your previous home is vacant and still on the market.
- You have to move out temporarily while your house is undergoing renovations.
- Someone dies and the property could be vacant until the estate is settled.
- You’re a “snowbird” who splits the year between homes.
Things you can do to reduce risk
If your home is going to be unoccupied for an extended period of time, there are simple steps you can take to keep it safe and protected:
- Check on or have someone check on the home at regular intervals.
- Make the home look lived-in. Keep the home maintained by cleaning the yard, shoveling the sidewalks and driveways.
- Make sure pipes are protected in the winter months and not subject to bursting.
- Install and keep operable a monitored home security system and make sure smoke detectors have fresh batteries.
Fort Dearborn Insurance works with a variety of insurance carriers who can offer you a homeowners insurance policy that ensures your home is protected, even if you aren’t there. Call today to discuss your options at 847.853.5300 or request quote.