Sometimes, the way we use our home changes. And, as it changes, the risks associated with the property change, too. One common time this happens is when a home is not lived in the way you used to live in it. When people are present day in, and day out, the home is safer and more protected. You are there to see problems. Vandals are not likely to target the property. But, when you are suddenly not there, the risks amplify.
Why There Is So Much Concern
Here are a few examples that can happen. Your parent becomes ill. Your parent spends three weeks in the hospital followed by another month in rehab. During this time, the home is unoccupied. Someone breaks in causes damage and leaves your property uninhabitable.
A vacant home is another instance. For example, you may have inherited a home from a loved one. Or, you purchased a home you plan to flip. Or, the home did not sell fast enough before you moved into a new one. Someone gets into this home, causes a fire, and burns it down.
In these situations, no one is there to see what is happening. The result is significant damage, the damage that goes unnoticed for some time, and a high risk of it happening again.
When Does Your Home Insurance Policy Help?
There are limits to home insurance coverage for these homes. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect.
The Vacant Home
A vacant home is one no one is living in, and no furniture is present. After 30 to 60 days (depending on the terms in the policy) the insurer will cancel the policy if the home remains vacant. This protects the insurer. If you have an incident while the home is vacant – and you do not tell the insurer it was vacant before this – the insurer may deny your claim. This means the damage (even that burned down home) is paid for out of your pocket.
A specialized policy is necessary for a vacant home. These are hard to find but essential.
The Unoccupied Home
Defined as a home you could live in tomorrow because it is furnished and the utilities are on, this home will likely have coverage for up to 30 days. After this point, the insurer may allow for continued coverage with an endorsement noting the vacancy. This could restrict the amount of coverage present.
Unoccupied homes need a comprehensive policy. Do not let your insurer stay in the dark about it – they need to know the home is unoccupied for 30 days or longer.
The Seasonal Home
A seasonal home is one used less frequently than the primary residence. Some home insurance policies will cover this home as an add-on to the existing plan. Others do not. In all cases, you need to protect your seasonal home from risks with a customized policy.
If you rent it out, be sure to let your agent know. Some seasonal homes will need a landlord’s policy to keep it protected. You don’t want those hot tub or pool accidents to cause you financial loss if the insurer learns you are renting it.
Securing the Right Agent Is Essential
It can be confusing knowing which type of coverage is right for your home when it is vacant, unoccupied or a seasonal property. That is why it is essential to work with a licensed agent at Insurance Innovations, Inc who can answer all of your questions. The key is to have a policy designed for the way you use your home.