Interested in learning more about homeowners insurance coverage for seasonal, unoccupied, and vacant homes? You’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we will go over each of these insurance situations and give you advice on how to handle every one.
Seasonal Home Insurance
Let’s start with something fairly simple. If you have a seasonal or “vacation home,” you’ll need insurance for this home in addition to insurance for your primary home. Just as with a primary home, unexpected events like fires, flooding, tree damage, and other accidents can occur at any time. If you don’t have adequate coverage, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for the repairs.
What many homeowners make the mistake of doing is assuming that their primary residence insurance policy covers their seasonal home. While this is sometimes possible, it may not be in your case. Therefore, the best course of action is to ask your insurance agency directly if your primary residence insurance policy covers your seasonal home. If it is not covered, you’ll simply need to purchase an additional policy to cover your seasonal home.
Vacant Homes Vs. Unoccupied Homes
When it comes to vacant homes and unoccupied homes, things get a little more complicated.
Both vacant homes and unoccupied homes are difficult to get insured. This is because insurance companies see vacant and unoccupied homes (where no one is living for an extended period of time) as bigger risks than occupied homes.
It’s actually easy to understand why. When no one is living in a home and damage occurs, the damage goes unnoticed for long periods of time — sometimes weeks or even months. This can cause further, exacerbated damage, which can result in tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs that your insurance company won’t be thrilled about paying. As a result, if you want to have vacant or unoccupied homes covered by insurance, you should expect to pay more.
Furthermore, vacant homes are especially difficult to get insured because they’re particularly susceptible to glass damage and vandalism — both of which are problems that insurance companies will hardly ever cover.
One important thing to keep in mind is that vacant homes and unoccupied homes are different concepts. Essentially, vacant homes are not livable, and unoccupied homes are livable. A home is vacant if no one lives there, the utilities are shut off, and there’s not enough furniture and appliances inside to provide a livable environment.
A home is unoccupied if no one lives there but the utilities are turned on, and there is enough furniture inside for someone to adequately live.
Can Your Primary Residence Be Deemed Unoccupied?
Believe it or not, yes. If you leave your home to go on a long vacation or if you’ve purchased a new home but can’t yet move in for a while, your home may be deemed unoccupied by your insurance company. Generally, a home can be left unoccupied for 30 or 60 days before its insurance is voided. All insurance policies are different in this regard.
Questions or Concerns? Work With a Licensed Insurance Agency Directly
If you still have questions about vacant, unoccupied, or seasonal home insurance, you’re not alone. This topic can be extremely confusing for many homeowners. Fortunately, if you work one-on-one with a licensed insurance agency, you can get the answers you need.
Agents at Gutman Insurance are always available to answer your questions or concerns related to this topic. Give us a call today, or feel free to stop in to see us at your convenience.