Insurance for Your Vacant Properties
A vacant property is prone to the risk of potential damage. Regardless of the amount of time your property will be unoccupied, make sure that you update your home insurance policy.
In general, the vacancy represents an abandonment of property. Your home’s occupancy status can affect your typical homeowner policy coverage, such as protection from perils caused by freezing and vandalism.
Due to the increased risk of potential damage, home insurance policies have limited insurance coverage for unoccupied or vacant properties. Policy coverage varies widely, but there is no coverage for theft, vandalism, water issues, or glass damage starting from the day of the vacancy. Moreover, 30 days after the property is vacant, the entire policy becomes void, such as no coverage for any destruction, not even windstorm or fire.
A vacancy permit may provide your property with the necessary protection against loss caused by lightning, explosion, hail, windstorm, and vehicle impact, but still, there is no coverage for theft, water escape, glass damage, vandalism, or other perils. It may also increase your premiums or higher deductibles in case of a claim. The permit may also need you to have your unoccupied or vacant properties inspected regularly for your insurance remains active. To avoid this and prevent your coverage from becoming void, speak with your insurance agent to help you with vacant home insurance coverage.
What is a Vacant Property Insurance Coverage
Due to the increased insurance risk related to an unoccupied and vacant property, the insurance companies exclude them from covered under standard property insurance products. Hence, homeowners who want coverage for their empty property need to buy unoccupied or vacant home insurance.
Vacant property insurance is essential to have if you have a property listed for sale or in-between tenants. The National Real Estate Insurance Group can protect unoccupied or vacant properties and real estate investments. Vacant home insurance is specialty insurance designed to provide financial protection against damage or loss of a vacant home.
Some insurers allow a property to be unoccupied for 60 days before demanding notification. The time limit is shown in the policy. A vacant home elicits more scrutiny than an occupied property.
What Does Vacant Property Insurance Cover
A property may be unoccupied or vacant due to many reasons:
- You have a rental property and are between tenants
- You have moved to a new place for a new job, but your house is unsold
- Your property is undergoing renovations
- As executor, selling your property to close an estate
In this case, you need a specifically designed policy for the risks of a vacant property.
Named Peril Protection
Under this policy, your property is covered from causes of loss, such as fire, wind, hail, lightning, explosion, and others. These are written in your policy information. Although it does not cover everything, your essentials are protected. This type of coverage is also known as “basic form” coverage.
Actual Cash Value Loss Settlement
The actual cash value (ACV) of the loss is the replacement cost minus the depreciation value when settling your claim.
The policy is written in 3, 6, and 12-month terms, which gives flexibility.
When your house is sold, or someone moves in, you need to cancel the policy, and you can get a refund for the balance of the policy term.
- Reasonable expenses such as emergency repairs
- Other structures like shed, fence, and detached garage
- Debris removal
- Fire department service charge
Eligible Home Types
- The home must be in fair or good condition, with proper maintenance
- Up to four-family, no age restriction
- Valued up to $500,000
- Renovations process without surcharge is accepted
Other Coverage Options
Premises Liability. It provides protection for your liability if someone is injured while on the premises.
Personal Property. It offers insurance for items such as appliances, furnishings, linens, and others.
Vandalism. This includes the physical damage to the structure or home and is part of the comprehensive program but optional for the basic form.
Limited burglary. Your house is covered if forced entry leaves visible destruction, such as a broken window or jimmied door. Theft of personal property is also covered like a heat pump or copper piping.
Builder’s risk. It offers coverage for the value of improvements, repairs, or alterations.
Liability Insurance For Vacant Properties
Premises Liability insurance protects you and your investor from claims that happen at your property. Events, such as:
- If someone slips and falls on your premises
- If a dog bite happens on your property
- Coverage extends to spas and pools
- Medical expenses included
Liability insurance options start at $7 per month, $1,000,000 per property, and $2,000,000 aggregate limits of liability. Ask and learn more information from your agent regarding your claims. Request more information and a quote today.
Vacant Property Insurance Coverage Cost
Vacant property insurance provides property coverage in case of a destruction at the property while it is unoccupied. The amount of coverage varies from company to company, state you love in, your exit strategy in the event of a total loss, and your risk appetite.
Homeowners who want to purchase vacant home insurance products can likely do so by their current home insurance company. Large insurance companies like State Farm and Farmers offer the best coverage needs for vacant homes through endorsements or separate policies. You may have to pay 50% more for vacant home insurance than the regular homeowner’s policy. Homeowners should be prepared to pay about $500 more annually, increasing their average annual cost of homeowners insurance.
Shorter Vacancies Can Be Handled With an Endorsement
American Modern program offer rental property insurance. When a property is insured under one of its programs, the Vacancy Permission endorsement adjusts the policy to accommodate a temporary vacancy. A temporary vacancy is if you are between tenants or when your home is closed for the season.
Through Vacancy Permission endorsement, you can maintain your coverage if you cancel your original policy, purchasing a vacant policy, then return to a regular policy when the property is occupied. Bear in mind that the property should meet qualifications for the program it is insured.
If you have to be away from home longer than the maximum time specified in your insurance policy, you have to keep your coverage active while you are away. You should contact your insurance company to request a special permit or endorsement. It would cover your home for an extra time.
Insurance companies impose terms and conditions on vacant home to lessen exposure to the increasing level of risk. Vacant properties may need an endorsement or separate policy. But it will depend on the insurance company; others don’t insure vacant homes. For insurers who are willing to take on the risk and offer this insurance, coverage limits and premiums for vacant homes vary depending on how long the house will be empty.
Leaving your home empty for a particular period increases the level of risk for a range of events, including theft, vandalism, and weather-related perils. Hence, insurers often impose strict restrictions or apply terms and conditions on your homeowner’s policy.
Many may find vacant home insurance expensive, you can employ some new methods in order to save money. You can ask help from your friend or neighbor to stop by your home every few days to see your property. In this way, your insurance company would agree that your home is not vacant. Another way to protect and keep an eye on your vacant property is to install smoke detectors and alarm systems, where you can earn a discount. Discussing discount opportunities with your insurance company will save you hundreds of dollars per year on property insurance. Request a quote today.
If you have upcoming vacant property and you have no one to see over your property while you are away, inform your insurance agent to help you determine your best need for vacant property insurance, so your investment is protected.