As a property owner, you understand the importance of having home insurance. But, when changes occur in your lifestyle, you may not recognize the need to update your policy. Whether they are permanent or simply temporary, talk to your home insurance agent any time your home is vacant, unoccupied, or being used seasonally. This can impact your coverage.
Your Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover You in Some Cases
The most important thing for property owners to realize is home insurance policies can be canceled or may not honor claims when a home is vacant or unoccupied. You may be shocked to learn the following situations occur frequently.
A Vacant Home
Vacant homes are high-risk properties. Insurance companies rarely provide new policies on homes that are vacant as a result. But what happens if you own a home like this? Perhaps you buy a new home, but your existing one does not sell. You move out, but the home is still your valuable property. In this case, call your home insurance agent.
Most home’s that are vacant will have coverage for 30 days, sometimes as long as 60. After that, the insurer may cancel the policy. More so, if you fail to inform them of the vacancy, the company may even deny the claims you make on it.
For example, you move out of the home, but a fire occurs due to the electrical system. This could be something the home insurance policy covers, but because the home is vacant, it may not. Always update your coverage to reflect the way you are using the home, so you always have protection.
An Unoccupied Home
Here’s a bit of a different situation. You own a home you have not lived in for a while. Perhaps you are moving in with your boyfriend and are no longer living at your home. Your furniture is still there. And, the utilities are on. But, because you do not live there every day, it is an unoccupied home.
Most home insurance policies cover unoccupied homes for 30 to 60 days – and only if you tell them of the unoccupied nature of the home in advance. These homes are also high targets for break-ins and theft. And, no one is there to protect the property.
For example, someone breaks into the home. They cause damage to it, steal from you, and even cause water damage. No one knows this is happening – and no one stops it. As a result, the coverage your insurer may provide is limited if not at all.
A Seasonal Home
A seasonal home should be properly insured, either through its own policy selected because it is a seasonal home or as an add-on to your existing primary residence insurance. Always communicate with your agent about the way you use this structure. How often do you use it? How many days is it empty? And, do you rent it. Be sure your policy reflects this in detail and that you update it as you need to. This gives you the protection you need.
How to Make Sure You Are Safe
These situations are complex, and coverage for homes like this can be hard to find. When you work with a licensed and experienced home insurance agent, you may be able to reduce some of these concerns. It is up to you, though, to know what to expect. If you are not living in your home for any reason or any length of time – even a long vacation – call Stauffer-Klug Insurance and update your coverage properly.