Leaving a home vacant for an extended period is not uncommon. Whether you’re embarking on a long vacation, a work assignment abroad, or transitioning between homes, there are times when your home might sit unattended. While homeowners take precautions to ensure their property’s safety during such absences, there’s an often-overlooked aspect: the implications on insurance coverage.
1. Understanding the ‘Vacancy Clause’:
Most homeowner insurance policies have a “vacancy clause.” This provision stipulates that if a home is vacant for a set period (typically 30 to 60 days), certain types of coverage may become void. The reason behind this is simple: vacant properties pose a higher risk. There’s an increased chance of theft, vandalism, or unnoticed damages like water leaks, leading to more substantial claims.
2. What Might Not Be Covered:
If your home has been vacant beyond the stipulated period in your policy, and something happens, you might find yourself without coverage for:
- Vandalism: An empty home is an easy target.
- Break-ins or theft: No one’s around to deter thieves.
- Certain types of water damage: A small leak can become a significant issue if left unchecked.
- Glass breakage: This might include windows or glass features within the home.
To be sure about what’s covered in your policy, delve deeper into this Insurance Information Guide.
3. Communicate with Your Insurance Provider:
If you plan to leave your home unattended for an extended period, the best course of action is to inform your insurance provider. Open communication can prevent misunderstandings, and they might offer solutions you hadn’t considered. They might:
- Extend the vacancy period: Some companies might be willing to extend the typical 30 to 60-day window, especially if you can demonstrate that you’re taking measures to protect the property.
- Suggest a policy endorsement: This addition to your standard policy can provide coverage during your absence. Though it may come with an additional charge, it ensures your home remains protected.
4. Consider a Vacant Home Insurance Policy:
If your absence will be prolonged, it might be worth investing in a vacant home insurance policy. While these policies can be pricier than standard homeowner’s insurance, they’re specifically designed to address the unique risks associated with vacant properties.
5. Mitigating Risks:
While it’s essential to have the right insurance coverage, it’s equally crucial to take steps to protect your home:
- Regular Check-ins: Have a friend or a home watch company visit the property regularly. Their presence can deter potential intruders and identify issues before they escalate.
- Install Security Systems: Modern home security systems allow homeowners to monitor their properties remotely. Some can even detect water leaks or temperature drops.
- Maintain Appearances: Keeping the lawn mowed, collecting mail, and using timers for lights can give the impression that the home is occupied.
In conclusion, leaving your home unattended presents challenges, and understanding the insurance implications is paramount. With the right coverage and proactive measures to safeguard your property, you can have peace of mind during your absence.
Annapolis Home Concierge Can Help
With Annapolis Home Concierge home watch service, we provide regular check-ins on your home when you’re away. We can monitor your home’s security systems and respond to any alerts, ensuring that your home is safe and secure. For information on how we can help call 443-807-5010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.