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 [email protected] or 757-291-5912.

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