Do you love the thought of spending your hot summer months up north? Perhaps you’ve purchased a second home along the West Coast. Or, you may be spending some time on the open road. If you plan to leave your home unoccupied for any length of time, it’s important to make sure you have proper insurance coverage on it.
What you may not know is your standard home insurance policy may not apply or is not enough to keep your property protected.
Why Insurers Do Not Like Vacant, Unoccupied, or Seasonal Homes
If you do not live in your home, the property is exposed to higher risks. For example, you may have a small leak that turns into a significant amount of damage because no one catches it. Another concern relates to vandalism. Break-ins in homes not occupied are very common and can be very expensive to overcome. Some insurers will not cover your home for vandalism if it is unoccupied for a period of time.
How to Insure Your Property
Going without home insurance on these properties is very risky, though. What should you do if you need coverage but do not want to overpay for it? Choose the right type of insurance for your property based on how you use the home.
You’ve moved out but have not sold the home. It is vacant until you can get back to it. A vacant home is one without home furnishings, utilities, or anyone else living in it. This type of property requires proper insurance to minimize costs associated with leaving it empty. If your home does not have anyone living in it for 60 days or more, the risks are higher.
Most insurance companies will not cover a vacant home. If your home is left vacant and you do not let the insurer know, it can void any claims on that property stemming from the vacancy. This includes vandalism related claims.
It’s Unoccupied for the Moment
You may be spending time at another home for the moment, or you are in a hospital for recovery from an injury. If a home is unoccupied for 30 to 60 days (depending on the insurer’s requirements), it may need special coverage. An unoccupied home is one someone could move into and use right away. It has your belongings in it, but you are not living there right now.
An endorsement to your existing home insurance policy may help protect this home for a short period of time. Sometimes, an insurer will cancel your policy if you do not inform them of the unoccupied status. Keep in mind, the only way to avoid this is to ensure someone is living there.
Your Home Is Seasonal
Seasonal homes typically need their own home insurance policy. Some home insurance policies will extend to a second home. However, if not, you will need to purchase a new policy reflective of the way you use this home. If it is a vacation home you rent out when not using it, be sure to choose a specialized policy for this.
Minimizing Risks – Insuring for Your Needs
Even in these situations, there are plenty of scenarios where you may not need specialized home insurance. However, if you are not living in your home for an extended period of time, contact your insurer. At All Arizona Insurance, we are happy to help you navigate your options to determine what type of insurance product is best for your individual needs. Customization is the key to this type of coverage.