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insurance for vacant homes
Vacant home insurance may be relevant to a property that is both currently unoccupied or occupied only on a part time or seasonal basis.
Insuring a vacant home properly is important. Should an insurer discover that an unoccupied property is being covered by a standard homeowners policy, they may deny any claim. Holding the right cover is important. Premiums for vacant home insurance typically run higher than standard home owner policies due to increased risk. The extent of damages that can result where nobody is present to prevent, take action or report such damage is the basic reason why these premiums come higher.
Vacant Home Insurance Coverage
The standard policy for vacant home insurance is known as a DP1. It provides for basic named perils coverage on the building and additional structures where relevant. This means that the policy only covers events that are expressly named, and excludes events or circumstances that are not.
Depending on the provider, vacant home insurance could contain building and structures coverage for the following named perils:
Vacant home insurance normally takes a percentage of the dwelling limit or dollar coverage amount chosen for the main building as the coverage limit on structures, e.g. 10%. The main building dwelling limit should reflect the cost to rebuild using the same approach as for a standard homeowners policy.
Vacant home insurance by default excludes some common perils:
- Malicious mischief
- Water damage accidental discharge, including damage caused by burst pipes
- Flooding (as defined and covered under separate flood policies)
Vacant Home Insurance Additional Coverage Endorsements
Depending on the provider, certain endorsements may be added to a vacant home insurance policy. Not all vacant home insurance companies offer the same list of endorsements.
Note: with empty home insurance any of the following may or may not be available depending on the company that you seek DP1 vacant home insurance through.
- Malicious mischief
- Water damage caused by sudden and accidental discharge. E.g. from pipes, appliances, plumbing
- Vacancy Permission Endorsement
A vacant home insurance policy should carry a vacancy permission endorsement. If the home is unoccupied for a period extending beyond two months then a standard DP1 could reduce or cease coverage depending on the insurer.
A vacancy endorsement prevents this from happening and allows the DP1 coverage to continue complete throughout an extended vacancy. A vacancy permission rider can be removed for periods of occupancy and reassigned when you vacate.
- Replacement Cost
The standard approach with vacant home insurance is to offer payout for damage repair or loss on an actual cash (depreciated value) basis. A replacement cost approach is sometimes available as an endorsement with vacant home insurance.
- Liability for premises
- Contents coverage (may not be available at all from some vacant property insurance providers).
The theft peril is not represented in vacant property insurance. Some vacant home insurance providers set limitations on the age and value of the properties that they will insure. For example, some will not insure a vacant home older than 30 years or there may be a maximum real estate value limit beyond which they will not issue policies.
Vacant property or second home insurance is an essential purchase. Unoccupied or seasonal second home insurance will also be required by a lender on the property. Consumers should locate their own provider/policy and not simply accept any lender forced coverage where relevant. Find carriers offering vacant, second and vacation home insurance/holiday home insurance here online.
Best Vacant Home Insurance
When looking for the best vacant home insurance in terms of quality then the availability of endorsements and flexibility is important. It is also worth finding a carrier that pays some attention to the vacant scenario perhaps by offering a good range of information specific to this need on their website. Independent and impartial consumer reviews of DP1 products may help you narrow down vacant home insurance providers. With vacant home insurance study the policy carefully and take time to find the right provider. In terms of best value, as with general home owner polices, insurers establish unoccupied property rates or base rates for this type of policy. The exact property location and dollar amount of cover on the dwelling affects the rates that are charged in the first instance. Shopping for quotes with a few carriers here is highly recommended especially considering that vacant home insurance quotes are generally more expensive. Accepting a higher deductible will allow you to bring down cost but there can be no substitute for the need to price test the market for vacant home insurance in addition to finding quality providers. Find unoccupied property insurance providers here online and look for discounts as available. Unoccupied property insurance is available from many carriers in most states.