As an insurance agent, it is always our goal at Carrigan Insurance to ensure your property has proper protection. But, the life you are living right now may be a bit different than when you first purchased your home. Have you updated your home insurance in the meantime? Specifically, if you own a vacant, unoccupied, or seasonal home you need to let us know about these risks.
Define What Happens When Someone Is Not Home
In many home insurance policies, there are specific rules listed about the occupancy of the home. If someone (usually the policyholder) is not living in the home, he or she is required to inform the insurer of this. The reason is simple. The policy requires you to maintain your home, which you cannot do from a difference. Here are a few key examples of the risks.
Vacant Homes – No One Living There
The most common reason for a vacant home is an individual moves. However, homes that are a part of an estate plan can also be in this area. The home has no one living there, the furniture is moved out, and the utilities are off. Your home insurance policy is only likely to provide coverage for a vacant home – if you alert them to it – for about 30 days.
Beyond this, there are too many risks to insure the property, which is why most companies will not do so. Vacant homes are a high risk because they are easily broken into and hard to monitor for safety. For example, a teenager breaks into the home just to vandalize it. Sprays paint on the walls, perhaps illegal substance use, and the risk of fire can all degrade the value of the home. Without insurance, you could pay for this out of pocket.
Unoccupied Homes – Someone Could Live There
An unoccupied home is a home where the furniture is still present, and it is rather easy for someone to move back in. For example, your loved one may be in the hospital or a rehab center for a few months following an accident. Or, you may be planning a long trip out of the country. Most home insurance policies will only cover an unoccupied home for 30 to 60 days, and again, only if you inform them of this.
The unoccupied home is at the same risk as one occupied, but now it has belongings in it. This means there is an increased risk of theft. More so, accidents or damage to the home goes unnoticed for some time, making it more expensive to repair later on. It’s essential you have a policy designed for your unoccupied home by your agent.
Seasonal Homes – You Use It Sometimes
Buying a second home or a vacation home can be a fantastic benefit, but insuring it properly is important. Insure it based on how you use it. For example, some people purchase a home in one of the lake communities in the state. They use it during the summer months and rent it out during the winter. Be sure your agent knows this, so a customized policy is designed to meet these risks.
Work with a Licensed Insurance Agent
Because any of these situations are complex, it is essential to work with a seasoned, licensed insurance agent at Carrigan Insurance to protect your home. And, as you change the way you use your home, be sure to update your policy to reflect this. It is critical to making sure your home maintains coverage long term and no matter what occurs.