At Gary Ellis Insurance, we work hard to make sure your home is always protected. From time-to-time, home buyers are on the move – buying and selling a home or maybe a second home. In other cases, people travel for extended periods of time. These are all good things, but to be sure their new home is insured properly, it is essential that they update their home insurance policy to reflect the risks.
Let’s be clear, accidents and unexpected events happen all of the time, but when you are not at your home on a routine basis, these risks are amplified. With the right protection for your vacant, unoccupied, or seasonal home, you could be at high risk of financial loss.
What Does Your Existing Home Insurance Policy Cover?
All property insurance policies are not the same. A big factor in how they differ is based on the way a property is used. Here are some key examples of the limits of a homeowners insurance policy.
You Have a Vacant Home
If your home is vacant – which means no one is living there any longer, and there are no furnishings – it is at an increased risk for theft, break-ins, vandalism, and damage from a variety of factors. This is why most home insurance policies will not cover vacant homes for more than 30 days.
If your home becomes vacant for any reason, and you do not inform your home insurance agent about your vacant property, the policy may lack coverage after 30-days. For example, if someone breaks into the home and damages the heating and cooling system, it may cost thousands of dollars to fix. But, because you did not let your agent know the home was vacant, or because it was vacant beyond the coverage your policy allows, you lack any protection. The insurance company may not cover those losses.
You Have an Unoccupied Home
An unoccupied home is a bit different. An unoccupied home is one that is furnished and someone could live in soon or even immediately. It is still at high risk because if someone is hurt on the property, a pipe bursts, or there is damage to an appliance no one would know about the loss for some time. The property is unsecured and, therefore unsafe.
Most home insurance policies give you only 30 to 60 days of being unoccupied before the policy is canceled, or coverage becomes limited. If you know your home will be unoccupied for more than 30-days, be sure to inform your agent.
A seasonal home, perhaps one on a lake, might be an excellent investment for some people. To properly insure a seasonal home there are a few options. In some situations, you may be able to insure your seasonal home through your existing primary residence policy. In other cases, you may need additional coverage or a separate policy. Our advice for new seasonal homeowners is to work with your agent. Your agent will be able to help find the correct coverage and a great value as well.
Choosing the Right Insurance Company
When you choose to work with an independent insurance agent, you can be assured that they will form the coverage you need from a reputable insurance company. Gary Ellis Insurance will help you create a policy designed to meet your current home status whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant.