Thursday, January 5, 2012

Vacant house? You still need coverage!

What is a vacant house? A vacant home is a home with no contents that is either unoccupied or up for sale. These types of homes can be targets for theft and vandalism, and not to mention the homeless. Also with a vacant home, it is more susceptible to a burst pipe, or plumbing issues.

If you have a current homeowner policy, it will only cover your vacant home for about 30-60 days after you move out. At that time, if the home will be vacant for an extended period of time, you may want to look into purchasing a vacancy policy. Vacant house insurance is generally more expensive than regular homeowners insurance because there's no one living in the house to watch and protect it. You may be able to reduce your premium slightly by arranging for someone to check on your home regularly. The price of a policy also depends on whether the home has a central alarm system, deadbolt locks and smoke detectors. Insurers also may assess whether a policyholder has winterized the home to protect plumbing fixtures from freezing and can factor in how long the house will be vacant. A vacancy type of policy will cover the vacant house, and will protect against fire, vandalism, theft, malicious mischief, glass, and accidental discharge of water. These types of policies can be 3, 6, or 12 months.

 There may be a less expensive option to buying vacancy insurance. You could consider renting out your home while you're away. You will have to buy a landlord policy, or a rental dwelling policy which generally costs about 25% more than a standard homeowners policy, according to the insurance institute.


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