Spring is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings! Often times those new beginnings involve a new home, which means leaving the old one behind. Whether your house is sold right away or it is left vacant/unoccupied for an extended period of time, it should always be covered by insurance. Policies for vacant or unoccupied homes are different than regular homeowners policies and may sometimes be difficult to find because most regular homeowners' policies won’t cover vacant or unoccupied properties. Different homeowners' insurance companies have their own sets of rules for what it means to be vacant or unoccupied and how long you can go being vacant or unoccupied under your policy.
Vacant means the property is left completely empty/cleared out and unoccupied is when it is left as if the owners will return at any time. In general, a property is considered vacant/unoccupied if it is empty for more than 60 days.
One way vacant/unoccupied homes differ from regular homes is the risk they pose, because no one lives there or is there to monitor activities on the property. They can be substantially more susceptible to vandalism, break-ins, or other unexpected events. Vacancy between owners is not the only time you might need this special insurance. You also might need it if you own a rental (in case there is a lot of time between tenants), are gone for an extended period of time, or are undergoing serious renovations. You might not even think about insuring a property in these circumstances, but it is important to know the risk you take going without an appropriate policy.
There are things you can do to minimize the chance of property damage. Some things you can do if you know your property will be vacant or unoccupied are to: install security lights activated by motion, ask someone to keep an eye on it, set up lamps on a timer, or get an alarm.
If you plan on being away for an extended period of time or know your house will be vacant for a while, TELL YOUR INSURANCE AGENT! It is important to let them know, so they can help keep your property protected. Policy prices can differ based on several factors including: the state the home is in, the amount of coverage you want, and the home's risk factors. Policies usually have a 12-month term, but many companies have shorter policies available. If you have questions contact your agent or please call us at 916-488-4426 for a quote!