Don’t Leave Your ‘Home Alone’: You May Not Be Covered

Have you moved to a new home, but the old one is still for sale? Is your rental property between tenants? Have you left temporarily during a remodel? And, most importantly, do you know that insurance requirements are different for vacant properties?

Although many property owners don’t realize there is a difference, it’s a fact that if your property is vacant for whatever reason, you need a special insurance policy. Your options usually depend on the amount of time the property will be vacant and the type of coverage you want.

Common vacancy policies include three, six and 12-month terms. They can cover “named perils,” meaning only the types of losses listed (lightning, hail, fire) will be covered, or they can be more comprehensive. If the vacancy is short, you may only need an endorsement to cover this time period. Note that during this time your regular policy won’t apply. Typical options include:

  • Premises liability, in case someone is injured on your property
  • Personal property, if you are leaving furniture or appliances in the home
  • Vandalism, to cover damage or defacement
  • Burglary, for coverage of doors or windows broken during unauthorized entry and the theft of your personal items
  • Builder’s risk, to cover improvements and repairs during renovations

If you know you will soon have a vacant property, consult with your agent immediately. Your provider will set up a policy to protect your home. After all, no one wants to leave their “home alone.”