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If nobody is living in your home, a vacant and unoccupied home insurance policy can keep your investment safe. But it’ll cost more than a traditional homeowners insurance policy.
If you leave your home for an extended period of time, typically between 30 to 90 days, it will be considered unoccupied and you may void your home insurance.
How long is an extended period of time? That depends on the insurer, as each provider imposes its own time limit on the maximum period you can leave your home unoccupied and still expect full coverage under your policy. For example, Erie Insurance considers your home unoccupied after 60 days.
Some insurers have a maximum unoccupied limit of 60 days, while others extend this limit out to 90 days, but some companies require notification if you’ll be away for more than 30 days. Check your policy for the limit imposed by your insurer.
Yes, most homeowners insurance providers offer coverage for unoccupied or vacant homes. You’ll just need to let the insurer know that the home is unoccupied on your application.
The insurer may also impose additional exclusions and restrictions on your policy. For example, you may be required to make sure your home is taken care of by:
These conditions vary between insurers, so it’s a good idea to call your insurance agent before leaving or selling your home.
No. If your home is unoccupied for more than a specific period of time, as little as 30 days with some insurers, your coverage no longer applies.
But if you already have a policy, you may be able to change coverage on your existing policy to protect it while it’s vacant instead of taking out a new policy.
For example, say you’re selling your house and you’ve already moved out. Your normal home insurance policy will cover you for up to 3 months while you wait for it to sell. But if it takes longer to sell than you’d planned, contact your insurer and swap to an unoccupied home policy.
If you move into your home, you’ll need to contact your insurer and update your policy to a standard homeowners insurance policy.
If a tenant moves into your home, you’ll need to contact your insurer and update your policy to serve as landlord insurance.
Insurance is all about risk. By agreeing to cover your home against a wide range of events, the insurer takes on a certain level of risk. But if you leave your home unoccupied for a long period, that level of risk will increase.
When your home is unoccupied, it’s a prime target for burglars, thieves and vandals, and you also can’t protect it against fires, storms or other weather-related perils. Events that may only cause minimal damage if you’re there to look after your property can cause much more serious damage if there’s nobody at home. Even something as simple as a burst pipe can cause a whole lot of expensive damage to an unoccupied home if you’re not there to call an emergency plumber or turn off the water supply.
So, to minimize their exposure to this increased level of risk, insurers generally charge more for insurance if the home is unoccupied.
To help keep your home safe and secure when you’re not around:
You might think an extra long honeymoon or vacation is fine, but it might not be for your insurer. Consider a few common scenarios where you might leave your home unoccupied for long enough that it could affect your insurance.
If you’re planning on leaving your home unoccupied for more than 30 days, talk with your insurer to find out if you need to purchase additional coverage. And if you don’t have a policy lined up yet, compare homeowners insurance providers to find one that’s the right fit for your needs and budget.
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