Insuring a Vacant Home: When Your Home Doesn’t Sell Fast Enough

House for saleHome insurance agencies see vacant homes as a big risk. There is no one there to monitor conditions. There is usually a higher chance that a person will break into the home. Damage and even fire risks tend to be higher.

It is common for insurers to issue specific types of insurance for these properties. If you have a vacant home, speak to your agent about your current coverage. Determine if upgrades to your policy or your home are necessary.

Your Basic Policy Lacks Coverage

Most typical homeowners insurance plans do not cover vacant homes. Most provide specific exclusions for vacancy.

Here’s a common situation. A homeowner buys a new home. The first home does not sell fast enough. He or she moves into the new home. This leaves the older home vacant. You cannot maintain the same policy on the empty home as you did when you occupied it. Update your policy immediately or your coverage may be void.

How Do You Update Vacant Home Insurance?

If the home is vacant most of the time, a vacant home endorsement is often necessary. This is a specific layer of insurance on the property. It can cover many of the risks present in these homes. Vacant homes are more at risk for situations like the following.

  • Liability claims from individuals falling or otherwise suffering an injury on the property
  • Acts of vandalism to the structure
  • A higher risk of fires due to poor maintenance or mistakes
  • Intruders may suffer injuries (for which the homeowner might be responsible)
  • Theft is also common on these properties

In each of these situations, the homeowner may file a claim. However, if the home is vacant and the policy does not reflect this, it may lead to a denial of that claim. Update the policy to ensure coverage remains in place.

Vacant home insurance is not necessarily expensive. However, location, home size, and other factors contribute to this risk. A home that is vacant often, such as a second home or vacation property, will cost more than a home vacant for a short period.

Don’t overlook the terms in your current insurance. Learn what limitations the policy offers. Update the policy often to reflect your current risks. Doing this minimizes your chances of a claim denial. You never know when you may need to file this type of claim. With proper home insurance coverage, you never have to worry about having to do so.