Did you know your home may be considered vacant or unoccupied by your insurance company if it’s left without anyone living there for 60 days or more? Sometimes, insurance agencies adopt this status for your home after just 30 days of vacancy. If this happens, your home may not be covered in the event of an unexpected disaster or damage.
This is important for homeowners to know, but it’s not common knowledge. What you should know is that if your home isn’t covered when you thought it was, you may be looking at extremely high repair bills if something goes wrong.
Make sure you’re always covered by first understanding what to do when you have a home in any of the following scenarios:
When Your Home Is Vacant
Vacant homes do not have anything in them. They are empty, and the utilities are shut off. In other words, they are not livable. Insurance companies do not like to insure vacant homes, so this is something you’ll need to consider when looking for policies. This is because they are at higher risk of vandalism and other problems. If a tree were to fall on the roof and cause severe damage, for example, it may not be noticed for several weeks, months, or even longer. This would cause a whole host of secondary problems like animal and pest infestation, water damage, and more.
Insurance agencies also do not like to insure for vandalism no matter what the status of the property is, and vacant homes are prime for vandals. If you can find an insurance company to insure your vacant home, expect to pay up to 50% more.
When Your Home Is Unoccupied
Unoccupied homes can be used as residences at any time because utilities are set up, and there is furniture inside. Sometimes, unoccupied homes are simply not occupied because the owners are on a long vacation or because they need to be away for extended medical treatment. Other times, homes are unoccupied because the owners have technically moved out, but they still hope to rent it out.
Insurance agencies aren’t crazy about insuring unoccupied homes. However, they are slightly better than vacant homes because problems tend to be caught faster in an unoccupied home. Like vacant homes, you’ll need to purchase a separate policy for a secondary unoccupied home and remember that it may be more expensive. If this is your permanent residence, make sure that your insurance company is aware if you plan on being gone for an extended period of time.
When You Have a Seasonal Home
Lastly, let’s discuss seasonal homes. You will most likely need to have a separate insurance policy if you have a seasonal (second) home in addition to your permanent residence.
You can purchase a new policy with your current homeowners’ insurance agency. In some cases, the insurance policy you have for your permanent residence may extend to a second home. But this is rare, and you’ll want to double check with your insurance agency to make sure; never assume it.
Always Go to a Reputable Insurance Agent With Questions
Many homeowners who are looking to buy or manage secondary properties are frustrated by insurance questions. At Mayville Insurance we fully understand this. The entire process can be confusing; there’s no doubt about it.
For this reason, we recommend going straight to the source and speaking directly with your agent when you have concerns about unoccupied, vacant or seasonal homes. Contact Mayville Insurance any time to speak with a knowledgeable agent about your home insurance questions.