Why does your home insurance agent need to know if you have an ill loved one? Most often, they do not need this information. However, they do need to know if the home is vacant. A vacant home is a high risk to insurers. If the home’s owner cannot live there for some time, you may see your insurance drop off. When will this happen? There are a few things to keep in mind here.
How Long Is Too Long To Leave a Home Empty?
Most home insurance policies provide information about vacancy in them. And, policies differ from one insurer to the next. Most do not allow homes to be vacant for more than 30 days. Some offer 60 days. However, the length of time depends on the circumstances.
If you leave the home unoccupied, this means someone could easily move in. The utilities are still in place. The home’s furniture is still present. If the home is truly vacant, there are no belongings here. The utilities are off. This is a higher risk situation. Less than 30 days may apply.
What Happens if Your Home Is Vacant?
Let’s say your elderly parent enters into a nursing home to recover from a procedure. He or she is not going to be at home for six weeks. You anticipate they will be back to the home after this. Let your agent know this. They can work with you to provide coverage for the unoccupied home. Without this acknowledgment, though, you may not have enough protection.
If the individual is moving into a nursing home, things are different. The individual may not be in the home long-term. In this case, the home insurance policy is unlikely to remain in place. Let your agent know the circumstances. Are you selling the home? Will you keep it? Will someone else live there until your loved one returns? Provide insight to the company about the plans for the property. If you do not, they may cancel the policy. Vacant home insurance is an option. However, few companies offer it.
The key is to keep the property safe. If your loved one will not live there, consider letting someone move in. This can eliminate any concern about the home insurance policy’s cancellation. It also gives you peace of mind. Someone is watching the home and keeping it safe.
FAQ’s About Let Your Insurance Agent Know When a Home is Empty
Why is it important to inform my insurance agent when my home is empty?
Informing your insurance agent when your home is empty is important because it affects your insurance coverage. Most insurance policies have clauses that limit or exclude coverage when a home is left unoccupied for a certain period of time.
What is considered an empty home according to insurance policies?
An empty home is typically defined as a home that has been unoccupied for a certain period of time, usually 30 or 60 days. However, the exact definition may vary depending on your insurance policy.
Will my insurance policy be canceled if my home is empty for an extended period of time?
Your insurance policy will not be canceled if your home is empty for an extended period of time, but your coverage may be limited or excluded. It is important to inform your insurance agent to ensure you have the appropriate coverage.
What type of coverage do I need if my home is empty?
If your home is empty, you may need vacant home insurance, which provides coverage for homes that are unoccupied for an extended period of time. This type of insurance typically covers damage from vandalism, fire, and other perils.
How do I know if my current insurance policy covers an empty home?
You should review your insurance policy or contact your insurance agent to determine if your current policy covers an empty home. If it does not, you may need to purchase additional coverage.
What happens if I don’t inform my insurance agent that my home is empty?
If you don’t inform your insurance agent that your home is empty, your insurance coverage may be limited or excluded. This means that you may not be covered for damages or losses that occur while your home is unoccupied.
Can I still file a claim if my home is empty?
You can still file a claim if your home is empty, but your insurance company may investigate the circumstances surrounding the loss to determine if it was caused by neglect or other factors related to the home being unoccupied.
How can I prevent damage to my empty home?
To prevent damage to your empty home, you should take steps such as installing an alarm system, having someone check on the home regularly, and turning off the water supply to prevent leaks.
How can I reduce my insurance premiums if my home is empty?
You may be able to reduce your insurance premiums if your home is empty by taking steps such as installing an alarm system, having someone check on the home regularly, and making sure the home is properly secured.
What should I do if I plan to leave my home empty for an extended period of time?
If you plan to leave your home empty for an extended period of time, you should inform your insurance agent, take steps to secure the home, and consider purchasing vacant home insurance to ensure you have appropriate coverage.
What kind of insurance covers an empty home?
Unoccupied and vacant home insurance policies are designed to provide coverage for homes that aren’t currently occupied. Standard homeowners insurance typically does not cover vacant homes after 30-60 days of vacancy, making it necessary to obtain this specialized coverage when a home remains empty for extended periods.
Factors that impact the cost of vacant home insurance
There are several factors that contribute to the cost of vacant home insurance, including:
- The insurance company you choose
- The specific policy and coverage options
- The home’s risk profile, such as location, age, and condition
It’s important to note that vacant home insurance can be quite expensive, often costing 50% to 60% more than a standard homeowners insurance policy. This is due to the increased risk associated with unmonitored properties.
Informing your insurer about short-term home vacancies
It’s always advised to inform your insurer if your home will be unoccupied for a short period, as it can affect your coverage. While most standard homeowners insurance policies cover unoccupied homes for up to 30-60 days, exceeding this period without notifying your insurer could result in claim denial or policy cancellation. By keeping your insurer informed about your home’s status, you’ll ensure continuous coverage and minimize potential issues should you need to file a claim.