Learn About Insuring Vacant Homes


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Homeowner’s insurance is something that every homeowner must have in place at all times. But one issue concerning homeowner’s insurance has been occurring a lot lately and causing a variety of problems for homeowners who have a bought a new home yet have not sold their old one yet.

And that is the issue of insuring vacant homes.

In today’s market, it is not uncommon for homeowners to buy a new home without selling their old one first.

It is taking longer and longer for a home to get sold nowadays, so this problem is not uncommon for people to move into their new home while their old one remains vacant for some time.

The problem with this is that many insurers will not insure a vacant home because there is a greater possibility that something could happen to it.

A February 25, 2007 article by Steve McLinden of Bankrate.com, “Vacant home for sale carries insurance dangers, ” discusses some issues that could arise when attempting to insure a home that is un-occupied.

The reason why this issue of vacant homes needing to be insured is becoming such a hot topic lately is because so many are now just sitting on the market due to the lack of activity in many areas.

Many insurers do not want to take the risk of insuring these types of homes, although most of the time it is fine and nothing happens to these homes while no one is staying in them. “Insurers in general don't like to cover vacant homes. That's because such occurrences as theft, vandalism, fire and water damage are far more likely to happen in vacant houses than occupied ones and the resultant damage is more likely to be worse because no one is around to report it or stop it.

Most insurers will simply stop coverage all-together when a home becomes unoccupied for over 30 days and no new residents have moved in.

Although there are some things that can be done to avoid this situation, although homeowners must remember that every policy and insurance company is different. “However, some insurers will grant you a ‘vacancy permit, ’ providing that you request it before those 30 days expire. Such permits will provide you most of the coverage you previously had, but will not protect the house against such things as malicious acts, glass breakage or water damage. ”

If you know that you will have a vacant home on your hands for some time, all hope is not lost.

Some insurance companies do offer insurance especially made for vacant homes, although it is not always at a cheap price. If you find yourself in this type of situation, your best bet would be to shop around and look for the best priced policy. “Some major insurers and surplus-line insurers do offer vacant-home insurance - for a stiff price, of course. Call around and do a Web search. Those same insurers may cut you a rate break if you have a central alarm system for fire and theft, have had deadbolts locks and smoke detectors installed, and have winterized your home to protect plumbing from freezing temperatures. Arranging for someone to come by regularly to check on the place also is likely to earn you a lower premium. ”

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