Why Insurance for Vacant Homes is Hard to Find

If your home is unoccupied, certain coverage may be limited on your homeowner’s policy. At that point, you may need vacant home insurance to cover your liability risks.

Risks to Vacant Homes

  • Trespassers
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Insect infestation
  • Frozen or broken pipes

What Is Vacant Home Insurance?

Vacant home insurance is available for homes that are unoccupied for an extended time period, including:

  • Houses vacant for a minimum of 3 months and up to 36 months
  • Unoccupied homes on the market
  • Homes in foreclosure
  • Vacant homes under renovation

Some companies offer insurance for vacant homes as an addendum to an existing homeowner’s policy. Other insurance companies are hesitant to provide coverage to vacant homes due to the many risks they face, so you may need to shop around for specialty coverage.  A vacant home policy may have time limits and other stipulations, so it’s important to do your research.

How Much Coverage Do I Need for a Vacant Home?

The amount of coverage you need will depend on several factors. Most importantly, always insure for the replacement cost value if you can. The longer the house is vacant, the greater risk that it may be vandalized or experience other damage due to the fact that no one is there to monitor the home, heating, electrical and plumbing. Vacant property insurance will typically cover physical damage to your home, including weather damage and vandalism.

If you have detached structures or other personal property, consider adding additional vacant property insurance coverage for these structures. This will help ensure that if someone is injured on your vacant property and files a lawsuit against you, you’re protected.

How Much Does Vacant Home Insurance Cost?

Because certain risks increase with an unoccupied property, vacant house insurance is typically more expensive than a standard homeowner policy. If you’re only adding an addendum to your current policy, it may be more affordable, but just make sure it includes all the coverage you need. Fortunately, insurers will typically return any unused premiums if the house becomes occupied before the end of the policy’s time period.

How Do I Get Vacant Home Insurance?

You can check with your current insurance company. Vacant house insurance is considered a specialty product, so you may need to find another insurer.

If your current insurance company will not write a vacant home, contact Kim Tahey at ktahey@midpen.net or 757-291-5912.

About mrwilliamsburg

I love Williamsburg !
Being “Mr. Williamsburg” and starting my web site in 2004 has been a great way for me to help people looking for homes for sale, communities and an “insider knowledge.” of the area.
Turned out I was onto something. Because I offer in-depth information and up-to-the-minute blogging, even international clients have found me. One couple, moving back to the States from France, told me that a post I wrote blog about grocery shopping in Williamsburg convinced them that Williamsburg was the place to be, and that I was the best source by far that they found on the web.
I’m happy to say that I hear similar comments from many of my clients looking for homes throughout Williamsburg and Hampton Roads.
I grew up in Virginia Beach, Va, After attending college, I worked at a number of positions including manager of a land development and construction company and business manager of a cut flower business that we grew in sales from $300,000 to $15 million (we were supplier to Whole Foods and one of the first cut flower suppliers to Costco).
In 2004, it seemed like a good time to simplify my life. I moved my family from Annapolis to Williamsburg. I went into real estate with Liz Moore and Associates, and was one of the initial agents when Liz opened her Williamsburg branch.
My sons Zach and Josh attend Lafayette High School and Hornsby Middle School and are crazy about sports and the outdoors.
I feel lucky to be living the dream, and saving two to four hours by not driving on the DC beltway every day. So, I can now spend my time with family while concentrating on learning — and sharing — information about living in Williamsburg.
In real estate, no two people or transactions are the same. Everything’s a challenge, and I’m rewarded every time in close a transaction and have the opportunity to see the smiles on clients’ faces.
Please email or call me for assistance with any real estate questions about the area
John@MrWilliamsburg.com or 757 254 8136