Have you ever wanted to go on a long holiday around the world? Or renovate your entire house and change up the style? Well, we are here to tell you; you are not alone. The majority of people have thought about these possibilities at least once. However, before you make any decision, you will need to get unoccupied home insurance. That way, even if you leave your property for several weeks, it will be protected.
Right now, you might be wondering if insurance for an unoccupied home is necessary if you already have a homeowner’s policy. The answer is yes. The policy you already have in place won’t be enough if you are gone for more than a month. Keep in mind that this does not apply if you are renting the property. In that case, the renter will have to get special coverage. To learn more about this, click here.
If you have no idea where to get started with your home insurance for unoccupied properties. Don’t panic. In this article, we will explain everything there is to know about this policy. Including what it covers and how much it costs.
What is unoccupied home insurance?
As we explained above, the standard homeowner’s insurance won’t cover your home if it is left unoccupied for 30 days. Depending on your provider, this could extend up to two months. But, there would be different terms depending on the policy you choose. That’s why before getting homeowner’s coverage, you should ask what happens if you decide to go on a long holiday.
The main reason why your home insurance won’t give you this type of coverage is that when you leave your property alone, it will have higher risks. For instance, a pipe may burst and structurally damage the house, since you won’t be there to fix it right away.
If you are not sure about what type of home insurance for unoccupied properties you should get, it is crucial to contact your insurance agent. Experts will help you evaluate the risk and, depending on how much time you’ll be away, they can offer a policy that adapts to your situation.
Insurance for unoccupied home: What does it cover?
One thing you must understand is that the unoccupied home insurance will change from company to company. But, overall must policies will cover you for:
- Storm or fire damage: This also applies to any natural disaster that happens once you are away.
- Water damage: Here the insurance will cover any floods, leaks and pipe bursts.
- Vandalism or theft: This means if somebody breaks into your home and takes your belongings. Plus, if there is a deliberate act of destruction of your property.
- Public liability: That way, if a roof tile or a tree falls breaking your neighbours’ property, you can file a claim.
- Legal fees: In case you have to remove any trespassers while you are away. The good thing is that this part of the policy also applies to identity theft.
What is not included in the insurance for an unoccupied home?
Whenever you get a new insurance policy, it is vital to find out what is not included. That way, you will know when it is worth filing a claim. To help you out, here is a list of things that the home insurance for an unoccupied home does not cover.
Improper security measures
When you leave your home, make sure you lock all doors and windows to prevent any trespassers. However, if there is no evidence of forced entry, your insurance won’t cover any losses.
In case you decide you want to renovate your home while you are away, you should keep in mind that the insurance won’t protect you against any damage they are responsible for. But, don’t worry, all contractors have their own coverage for this kind of situation.
Some providers could deny your claim if the damage was caused by any major reparations. To avoid this, it is important to talk to your insurance agent and clarify if there will be repairs going on while you are out.
You should also remember that some insurance policies require someone to visit your property regularly. This person can either be a friend or family member, but make sure it is someone you trust.
Is there a time limit for unoccupied home insurance?
Since this type of policy is not standard, it can adapt to the individual situation of homeowners. That means you can leave for three, six and even twelve months at a time without worrying. However, when getting this coverage, we advise you to be clear about when you will be returning.
Who needs to get home insurance for unoccupied properties?
There are different instances in which your house might be unoccupied and not necessarily because you are on vacation. That’s why there are other scenarios in which you should get coverage.
- Selling or purchasing a property
When you are selling a property, it may be unoccupied for a couple of months while you start getting offers. In the same way, when you purchase a home, you might not be planning to move right away. In both instances, you should consider getting home insurance for an unoccupied home.
- Summer cottage
Many homeowners like having a second property to enjoy during the summer. This sounds great, but on the other hand, the house is unoccupied for the rest of the year, which means it is at greater risk.
- In-between tenants
There is a great percentage of the population that is now investing in real estate. This is great if you are looking for an alternative source of income. But, in some cases, while you are in between tenants, the house could be left alone for a couple of months.
Cost of unoccupied home insurance
The cost of this coverage will depend on the location of your property, its value, and how much time you will be away. The provider may also look into the security measures that you have in place before giving you a quote.