Owning a home you do not live in can be a bit more complex than you may realize, especially when it comes to home insurance. If you have a vacant home, an unoccupied home, or even a seasonal property, proper insurance is essential, but your primary, full-time coverage isn’t always enough or applicable. Take a look at what you can expect in these situations.
What Coverage Does a Standard Policy Offer?
The way you use your home defines the type and amount of homeowners insurance you need. In Wisconsin, our home insurance agents will work closely with you to create the ideal policy. However, here’s where the limits to a standard home insurance policy come in.
Vacant Home No One Lives In
A vacant home, one no one lives in often without utilities or furnishings, is the highest risk home. Without someone there, theft and burglary are highly likely. A burst pipe can cause thousands of dollars in damage if it goes undetected.
Your standard home insurance policy will limit coverage to homes vacant for 30 to 60 days. It may not cover damage from vandalism or glass breakage, for example, if the home is vacant. Someone could break in, burn down the home, and you would have no coverage.
Most home insurance policies will not continue to cover vacancies. Only a handful of insurers will cover a vacant home.
An unoccupied home is a bit different. This is a home with your furniture in it and usually has the utilities in place. It looks lived in, but thieves and would-be vandals are still big risks. Home insurance companies set rules for how long a home can remain unoccupied before they need an endorsement or the policy is canceled. Generally, this is no more than 60 days.
Imagine if you left for a six-week cruise around the world. Your home is unoccupied. It is possible for someone to break in, steal your home’s most valuable possessions, and be long gone before you even know there was a risk. As a result, most policies limit coverage here, too.
If the home insurer finds out the home was unoccupied and you did not notify them, they may deny claims and cancel your policy. It’s best to find someone to house sit but also to let your insurer know.
A Seasonal Home
Some existing home insurance policies will also extend to a seasonal home – but not all will. If it does not, you will need to purchase a separate policy for this home. Be clear with the agent about the home’s use. If you own a mountain retreat you use only in the summer or a second home elsewhere, it needs proper protection based on how it is used.
Without coverage, damage can occur, leaving you without any coverage. If you rent it out, for example, for the weekend, and someone sets fire to your home with misuse of the fire pit, you may lack coverage.
What You Can Do
It is important to work closely with a home insurance agent in Wisconsin with specialized experience and knowledge of how to handle these homes. Don’t assume a basic home insurance policy is enough – it rarely is.
More so, if you will be outside of your home for any length of time, 30 days or more, contact your agent at Feivor Insurance directly. Inform them of the plans. This way, the insurance company will work with you to update your policy to ensure you have coverage if an accident or break-in does occur.