Stress can overwhelm you when you are trying to sell your home and it doesn’t move quickly. What if you have to move out of your old home because you have a new job lined up or you have already moved into your new home? Until the old home sells, you may have no other option but to leave it vacant for a while.
What does this have to do with insurance? When a home becomes vacant, your regular policy may change and suddenly things that would have been covered had you lived there are now excluded and can leave you exposed. Typically, insurance companies will consider a house vacant when either the utilities have been shut off or the furniture has been removed. Some policies also specify that a house will be considered vacant if it has been left unoccupied for a specified number of days.
The reason insurance companies offer less coverage on a vacant home is because insurance companies view vacant homes as higher risks. Vandals are more likely to break in and damage a home that is vacant and nobody is home to prevent or reduce the damage from a fire or storm.
But you have to move. What should you do?
First, talk to your insurance agent and find out how your insurance company considers a home vacant. Each state has different requirements and each company has different rules so there is no single answer for everyone.
Second, ask your agent what coverages are excluded on vacant homes and which coverages remain. Be sure to specifically ask about vandalism coverage.
Third, ask your agent to recommend the best way to protect your home either by adding some coverage to your existing home or writing a temporary policy designed for vacant homes.
Selling a home can’t always be rushed. If there is a chance you might need to leave your home vacant, feel free to contact us and let us help you find the best way to protect both you and your property.
Feel free to contact us if you have questions about the insurance coverage for your home or any of your stuff, including cars, boats, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles.
(509) 783-5600 – Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, and the surrounding area including West Richland, Benton City, and Prosser)
(509) 249-1188 – Yakima Valley (Yakima, Union Gap, Sunnyside, Zillah)