Insurance for Vacant Homes: What You Need to Know

If you own a home that is empty for some reason, such as selling, renovating, or being hospitalized, you might need a special type of insurance coverage called vacant home insurance.

An image of home insurance
Home Property [PHOTO COURTESY OF CLOVERED]
This is because your standard homeowners insurance policy may not cover your property if it is left unoccupied for more than a month or two.

What is vacant home insurance?

Vacant home insurance is a policy that covers homes that have no belongings inside and are not being lived in for an extended period of time.

It is designed to protect your property from damage or loss caused by events such as:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Explosions
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Lightning

Vacant home insurance can be purchased as a separate policy or as an endorsement to your existing homeowners insurance policy. It can also come with flexible terms ranging from three to 12 months, depending on the insurer and your needs.

When do you need vacant home insurance?

You may need vacant home insurance if your home is considered vacant by your insurance company. This can vary depending on the insurer, but generally, a home is deemed vacant if no one lives there for at least 30 or 60 consecutive days. Some of the situations that may require vacant home insurance are:

  • You are selling your home and have moved out before finding a buyer.
  • You are renovating your home and have moved out during the construction process.
  • You are traveling for a long time and have left your home empty.
  • You have inherited a home that is not occupied.
  • You have a rental property that is vacant between tenants.

It is important to note that there is a difference between a vacant home and an unoccupied home.

A home is considered unoccupied, rather than vacant, if your personal belongings are still inside and you could return to live in it at any time.

For example, if you are away on a short vacation or a business trip, your home is likely unoccupied, not vacant.

In this case, you may not need vacant home insurance, but you should still check with your insurer to make sure your coverage is adequate.

How much does vacant home insurance cost?

The cost of vacant home insurance can vary depending on several factors, such as:

  • The location, size, and condition of your home.
  • The amount and type of coverage you need.
  • The length of time your home will be vacant.
  • The deductible and limits you choose.
  • The security measures you have in place to protect your home.

In general, you should expect to pay more for vacant home insurance than for a regular homeowners insurance policy.

This is because vacant homes pose a higher risk of damage or loss than occupied homes.

According to ValuePenguin, the average annual cost of homeowners insurance in the U.S. was $1,083 in 2020.

You should be prepared to pay around 50% more for vacant home insurance, which means an additional $500 or more per year.

How to get vacant home insurance?

If you need vacant home insurance, the first step is to contact your current homeowners insurance provider and inform them of your situation.

They may be able to offer you a vacant home insurance policy or an endorsement to your existing policy.

If not, they may cancel your policy or reduce your coverage, leaving you unprotected.

If your current insurer cannot or will not cover your vacant home, you may need to shop around for a new provider.

You can compare quotes from different insurers online or through an independent agent.

You should look for a policy that offers the best coverage for your needs at the most affordable price.

How to save money on vacant home insurance?

Vacant home insurance can be expensive, but there are some ways to lower your premiums, such as:

  • Maintaining your home and keeping it in good condition.
  • Installing security systems, such as alarms, locks, cameras, and motion sensors.
  • Visiting your home regularly or hiring someone to check on it.
  • Removing any valuables or hazardous materials from your home.
  • Increasing your deductible or lowering your coverage limits.
  • Bundling your vacant home insurance with other policies, such as auto or life insurance.

Conclusion

Vacant home insurance is a type of coverage that can protect your property if it is left empty for a long time.

It can cover you for damage or loss caused by theft, vandalism, fire, and other perils.

You may need vacant home insurance if your home is considered vacant by your insurance company, which can happen if you are selling, renovating, or traveling for a long period. Vacant home insurance can be

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