A lot of homeowners have had good reasons to leave homes without residents for weeks to months at a time. In some cases, these are vacation homes; however, other homeowners simply need to leave for extended trips or even to relocate before new owners move in. If you fail to understand how your insurance company will view a home that you don’t occupy for longer than a month or two, you could get your claims denied or even have your policy canceled.
Homeowners Insurance for Homes Left With No Residents
First, homeowners insurance companies have different definitions for vacant, unoccupied, and seasonal homes. To help you describe your unique situation to an insurance agent, take a moment to review a couple of insurance terms:
- Vacant homes: Typically an insurer will view a home as vacant if the residents have moved out. For instance, they would view moving out most of the furniture as a sign that the home is vacant. Even if you move your belongings away to storage or temporary housing because you are planning renovations, your insurer may consider it vacant. This could also be true even if you visit the property every day.
- Unoccupied: If the resident intends to return to the home after an absence, it’s merely considered unoccupied but not vacant. Typically, an unoccupied home would still have all of its furnishings, appliances, and fixtures. It’s important to understand that unoccupied and vacant may mean different things to legal professionals, but they might or might not to an insurance company.
- Seasonal homes: Examples of seasonal homes might include cabins on the lake that the owners use for vacations. Some companies may cover these under a primary policy, but others may not. Some insurance companies offer special policies for vacation homes.
In any of these cases, the homeowner’s policy that you rely upon for your primary home may deny claims if nobody lives in the home for an extended period of time. Vandals and thieves often target homes with no residents because they can commit their crimes without running the risk of having witnesses. If you do leave a property for longer than a month or two, your insurer may refuse to pay damage claims and even cancel your policy.
For instance, you might choose to relocate before you have sold your home. If a storm causes a fire or water damage, your insurance company might tell you that they won’t pay since you’ve left for longer than the term of the policy allows. This is one of those policy details that you should research long before you plan to leave, so you can make sure that you have the right coverage in place.
Are You Leaving a Home Empty for Longer Than 30 Days?
Do you have plans to leave a home empty of residents for several weeks? If so, make sure to avoid the big financial risk of lacking the right kind of coverage. If you fail to investigate coverage for unoccupied homes, you could end up having to pay for damages out of your own pocket. Contact your homeowner’s insurance agents right here at Anton Insurance before you leave your home without residents for a long period of time.