Not Living At Home? You May Need Vacant Home Insurance

by Hank Coleman

You may need vacant home insuranceI didn’t realize that my wife and I may need vacant home insurance after deciding to become landlords until a family member mentioned it. You are at risk of violating your homeowner’s insurance policy if you move out, no one is living in your home, and you do not have the right insurance coverage.

You run the risk of having a claim denied because you did not keep your insurance company informed of changes to your situation.

What Is Vacant Home Insurance?

Vacant home insurance is just what it sounds like. When you move out of your home and it has been vacant for over 30 days in most cases (60 days with some insurers), you need to have a different type of homeowner’s insurance policy protecting your structure.

Vacant homes are often the target of vandals, thieves, and other criminals. And, vacant homes are also subject to burst pipes, flooding, and possibly fire without you realizing it because you are not there to check on your property.

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Vacant home insurance is often a higher cost than your typical homeowner’s insurance that you have been paying while actually living in the home. Do not make the mistake of not informing your insurance company of the change.

Doing so can be grounds for denying a claim if you have to file one. Or, you could even face a cancelation of your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Each Insurance Company Is Different

Each state regulates insurance in that particular state. While most insurance companies and states offer almost identical coverage in most instances, there can be subtle differences between homeowner’s insurance policies from one state to another.

My wife and I found this out when our insurance company sent out a notice that they were no longer offering vandalism coverage for vacant homes in our state. This doesn’t apply to most homeowners, but now that we have become landlords and may find ourselves without renters for an extended period from time to time, this has the potential of really impacting us.

How To Possibly Get Around Vacant Home Insurance

One possible way to get around having to initially purchase vacant home insurance is to continue spending time at your home. Even my insurance agent recommended saving money by sleeping at our old home on the weekends if we were going to be in town instead of purchasing vacant home insurance.

It can be considerably more expensive than regular homeowners or even fire insurance for landlords. This could definitely be a possibility if you lived in the area and could regularly check on your vacant home, but for many landlords this is not an option.

My wife and I have never been landlords before. This was our first time as homeowners. It had never even occurred to me that I would have to let my homeowner’s insurance company know that the house was taking longer to rent out than we had hoped.

The consequences of not purchasing vacant home insurance can be devastating if you need to file a claim. Affordable Home Insurance Policies with Many Features. Get a Quote Now. You May Need Vacant Home Insurance

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 589 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jai Catalano

This is true. If my wife and move we are keeping this place but either subleasing it or I will use it as a permanent studio. Either way I will need some form of insurance.

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John

Wow! I wasn’t aware that insurance companies want to know about changes about where you are living. This was an eye-opener! I’ll keep this in mind in case we are ever in a situation like yours. Thank you.

Reply

JAMES

Just about any insurance you buy has clauses about informing the insurance company of changes in your situation. It is important to read the fine print!

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