by Michelle Ferris on May 10, 2016
As the weather gets nicer and we get more active, you may be starting to think about planning summer vacations or doing a remodel on your home. If you're planning to not live in your home for an extended period of time, beware! You home insurance could be in danger.
Insurance companies have company-specific rules about how long a home can go unoccupied without the insurance being altered or cancelled.
There are many reasons for this. Vacant homes can be seen as an "attractive nuisance" and attract trouble from neighborhood children who hurt themselves on your property, or attract vandals or burglars. Also, if there is damage to the home from sewer backup, flooding, or pipes bursting, there is no one there to assist in preventing further damage to the property.
Typically, if you're going to be gone for 30 or more consecutive days, you need to purchase a special home insurance endorsement from your home insurance company. Time limits vary depending on the home insurance company your home is insured through. Check your home insurance policy or call your insurance agent to find out.
Home insurance coverage and premiums vary for unoccupied (property has been left as if the owners will return at any time) and vacant (property is entirely empty, without any personal property inside) homes. There are things that can be done to ensure your premium is lower, such as winterizing your home, installing smoke detectors, and having an active alarm system.
Be sure to keep your insurance company updated about if you leave the house vacant or unoccupied. If something happens while you're away and they haven't been told, your entire claim can be denied and home insurance policy cancelled.
Whether you're travelling, selling your home, have a house sitter, have a neighbor to check on your home, call your insurance company. Different home insurance companies view individual situations differently. Some consider a house sitter as having the house occupied. Others don't. Some require an endorsement, permit, or surcharge. Others don't.
The safest way to protect your home and your home insurance policy is to keep an open line of communication with your home insurance agent. Contact PLC Insurance today for more information about your home insurance policy.
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We have a customer, Al S. from Bothell, who went through a few different claims issues...
February 13, 2012
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