Vacancy And Your Insurance Policy
The insurance industry, at the company level, has been cracking down on vacancy claims, not paying claims for vacant property or reducing the coverage available for the claim.
What constitutes a Vacancy
a) a rental that is between tenants
b) a home that you just purchased that is not yet occupied
c) a home that becomes unoccupied for whatever reason.
How can you protect yourself?
a) know what your insurance contract defines as a vacant
b) call your agent if you have any questions
c) inform your agent in advance or as soon as possible if your property will be unoccupied.
d) take steps to maintain occupancy of the property at a level that satisfies the contract of the company.
As a rule of thumb, the Vacancy Clause of a property insurance policy will activate somewhere between the 30th and the 60th day. Please know what your policy states. If the vacancy cause is activated due to being vacant for too long, the insurance provided by your carrier may be limited or cease to exist at all. Again, please know what your policy will do. If you find yourself in a situation where your property will be vacant for longer than your policy allows, it is a good idea to consider changing insurance coverage and going with a “Vacant” policy.
A Vacant policy is likely not as comprehensive as other types of policies you would have but it is designed to cover a vacant property and therefore is more likely to pay as expected on a loss. However, a vacancy policy may not cover as many types of losses as a standard Dwelling Fire or a Homeowners type policy will. One such coverage is Vandalism and Malicious Mischief. In order to have these coverages on a Vacant policy it is normally necessary that you add it on by endorsement. That means that you will be paying more premium than the standard policy. Note: some vacant policies will not offer Vandalism and Malicious Mischief coverage. Please be aware of this and know what you are missing.
Some homes are not suitable to all types of vacancy policies. There is underwriting rules and acceptability to the carrier that needs to be considered in all cases. If the home has been vacant for too long or has gone without insurance for too long, then you will likely have to search harder for a company that will accept this type of risk and you may pay somewhat more premium for the risk. If the property has been condemned or is very poor condition or has had too many losses, then you may not find coverage available at any price.
As with all things insurance. Check with your agent about your policy and particular circumstance.
Don’t have an agent? Call us, we would love to help you out. Taylor & Associates has multiple vacant property carriers and can insure most vacant properties. 937-962-2123.
Need a vacant dwelling quote? CLICK HERE
Taylor & Associates Insurance Agency is proud to support our local community and the state of Ohio & Indiana with quality insurance coverage from reputable insurance companies like ALFA Insurance, Allstate Insurance, Celina Insurance Group, Dairyland Insurance, Progressive Insurance, The Hartford Insurance and Western Reserve Group, Safeco and State Auto. We provide car insurance for the Tri-County area including Lewisburg, Brookville, West Alexandria, Eaton, Eldorado, New Paris, West Manchester, Arcanum, Greenville, Richmond, Preble County, Montgomery County, Darke County, Wayne County IN.