Vacant Property Owners May Need to Update Their Policies

Many people who formerly owned or rented are moving in with relatives to save costs in this troubled economy. This means many rental properties and single-family homes are sitting vacant and awaiting sale or foreclosure.

If you own a property that is vacant, is your insurance coverage adequate? Vacant houses have higher risks of vandalism, arson and other losses; if a property is unoccupied for a certain length of time, usually 30 to 60 days, your insurance coverage may cease or offer only limited coverage in the event of a loss.

To determine if you should update your insurance information with your agent, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you own a rental property that you can’t keep occupied?
  • Have you moved out of your home while you try to sell it or await foreclosure?
  • Do you travel extensively or perhaps live part of the year in another residence?If you answered “yes” to any of these questions and haven’t updated your status recently, it may be time to do so. Should you suffer a loss, the status of your property when you completed your insurance application greatly affects your coverage. For example, if your home was occupied when you purchased your coverage, your insurance carrier will assume that it is still occupied. If, after a loss, an adjuster determines the house was unoccupied, your claim may be denied or significant portions of coverage may be declined.

    Why run the risk? Contact your insurance professional and correct outdated information.