There are many reasons you may own a vacant home. Perhaps you’re waiting for a tenant, trying to sell the property, or are making crucial changes to its interior. Whatever your reason for leaving a home vacant, it’s important to know that it comes with a unique set of risks. Discover what it means to own a vacant property, what the risks are, and how vacant or unoccupied home insurance can give you peace of mind.
Are Your Properties Vacant?
Considering that the risks and laws vary depending on whether your home is vacant or not, it’s worth noting how the courts define vacant. The typical definition of vacant relates to whether a home is furnished enough to reasonably support people living there. For example, a home is not considered vacant if it contains items like tables, chairs, cookware, and other common necessities.
Although they may sound identical, there is a subtle difference between “vacant” and “unoccupied” when it comes to homes. A home is vacant if there’s no furnishings and no one using the home. It’s considered unoccupied if the home is furnished, yet no one is there for an extended period of time.
Common Reasons for Leaving Properties Vacant
Whether you rent your properties or have them in a temporary state of vacancy, there are various reasons why a home may be left unoccupied. These include:
- You rent out your property and are between tenants
- You travel frequently and may not be home for long periods of time
- Changes and renovations are being done while your home is unoccupied
- You own a home that you only stay in during a specific time each year
Whichever reason your property is vacant, it’s important to understand the different risks that apply.
The Risks of Vacant Properties
Risks of leaving a home vacant include everything from vandalism to losing homeowner coverages.
Natural disasters also pose a greater risk to vacant homes, mainly because the damage may not be discovered or alleviated for a long time after it’s caused.
Do You Need Vacant Home Coverage?
Once your home is left vacant for 30 days, you lose many of the benefits of homeowner’s insurance. This is extremely important because it could leave you in a vulnerable financial position if anything happens to your property.
Ultimately, if you plan on leaving a home that you own unoccupied or vacant for a month or more, you’ll want to consider vacant home insurance to ensure it’s protected. Unexpected events like a fire or theft won’t be covered by homeowner’s insurance once the property is considered vacant, but vacant home insurance can provide the coverage you need.
Should It Supplement or Replace Your Homeowners’ Insurance?
Once you purchase vacant home insurance, it can either serve as an extension to your homeowners’ coverage or it can completely replace it. The determining factor will be whether you plan on living in the vacant domicile or just leaving it vacant for a long period of time. Ask our agents at King Street Agency to help you decide whether both types will be needed or if vacant home insurance will be sufficient.
Average Cost of Vacant Home Insurance
While the cost of any type of insurance will vary depending on your property, location, and other factors, there is a rule of thumb for determining the approximate cost of vacant home insurance.
Homeowners can typically expect to pay about 50% more for vacant home insurance than they pay for their standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Nonetheless, the cost is worthwhile since homes that are unoccupied for 30 days can only be covered by vacant and unoccupied insurance policies.
Get A Quote Today
Owning vacant property comes with certain risks. Our knowledgeable agents at King Street Agency can help you decide how to best mitigate those risks. Our agents can provide valuable guidance about your properties and can find the best coverage options to address your concerns. We’ll answer your questions and help you obtain the right types of coverage to put your mind at ease. It all begins with a consultation.
Contact us today to request a quote or for assistance with any questions you may have.