Vacant & Unoccupied
Home Insurance (Costs & Coverage)

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Learn about vacant & unoccupied home insurance. People can find getting insurance challenging because their normal homeowners policy does not usually cover when a home is unoccupied.

Vacant & Unoccupied Home Insurance

Vacant & Unoccupied Home Insurance

If you have a vacant or unoccupied home, then you are definitely going to want insurance coverage for it. But many homeowners run into a problem when it comes to this type of coverage. People can find getting insurance challenging because their normal homeowners policy does not usually cover when a home is unoccupied.

Luckily, there is a type of insurance that is specifically designed for vacant homes. Let's explore how this insurance works, who it is intended for and how it differs from a normal homeowners policy, as well as what it provides and how much it costs.

The Cost of Vacant and Unoccupied Home Insurance

There are several factors that affect what the price of insurance for a vacant home is going to be. The best way to figure out what the cost is going to be is simply to get a quote, because it is nearly impossible to come up with an estimate on your own even if you know the factors that affect your potential rate. However, a good rule of thumb to use is to estimate 50%-60% more then what you would normally pay for a homeowner policy.

Vacant Home Coverage

There are lots of options when it comes to the coverage that you get for vacant home insurance. You will be limited by what is offered by your particular insurance company, but in most cases you will be covered against what is known as peril. However you do have to specify which peril you are insuring against; whether that is fire, wind damage or something else. Some insurance companies offer damage against vandalism.

You may also have the option for a settlement if your home is destroyed, liability coverage to insure against someone getting injured on your property and the actual cash value of your home if something happens to it, usually combined with a deduction that makes up for the depreciation.

Why Getting Vacant Home Insurance Is So Challenging

There are many reasons why someone may own an unoccupied home. Some people are fixing up homes so they can rent them out. Some are planning to live there themselves. They may have purchased the property, or inherited it from a relative. They may even be trying to sell the home for a decent price and are living somewhere else while they do it.

There are several things that you have to protect your home from when it stands unoccupied. Obviously, we already mentioned perils like wind damage and fire, but you may also get people trespassing on your property and damaging your home, have an insect infestation or animals move into the home that must be removed or have other kinds of damage that can happen when a home is not in use, such as broken or frozen pipes.

The reason that getting it is so challenging is it not every insurance company offers it. Plus, the insurance is more expensive than a regular homeowner's policy, and it is often broken down so that you pay for specific protection such as fire and you have to pay more to be protected from other sorts of damages. Vacant home insurance is specialty insurance and it's not offered everywhere. Make sure that you find out who is offering unoccupied home insurance, and then shop around to get the best deal that you can.

How Do You Know If You Need Vacant Home Insurance?

So, how do you know when you need vacant home insurance? Basically, if your home is going to be unoccupied for more than a couple of months, then you probably need vacant home insurance. The test is whether or not your current homeowner's policy will extend during the period that the home is vacant.

Vacant & Unoccupied Home Insurance - The Bottom Line

We hope this article on vacant & unoccupied home insurance has been informative. In some cases, such as when you are trying to rent out or sell a home and have people actually coming by to see it, your homeowner's policy holder may be agreeable to extending the homeowners insurance during that period. However, if you are planning to do extensive repairs, and you don't plan to rent or sell your home for several months, then you're probably going to have to go with vacant home insurance.

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