When does an insurance company consider my home vacant?
95% of homeowners do not understand what happens to their insurance on their home when their house becomes empty or unoccupied. Most people find out they do not have any coverage after submitting a claim because they failed to let their insurance agent know that their situation has changed.
Every homeowners insurance policy is different, but one fact remains consistant no matter what company you are insured with, that is homeowner insurance companies will not continue to insure a home if the home is not being lived in by the primary homeowner.
Right now with the forclosure market at an all time high, there are thousands of homes that have no insurance coverage because they are vacant eventhough they may still have a “homeowners or landlord policy”. provisions in your insurance policy suspend coverage when the structure is not occupied as intended by the policy. Most people are simply not aware that they are risking everything because they failed to make a call to their agent when their situations changed.
Some common examples we have seen the past few years:
- House sits empty for 89 days after a parent passes away and the kids try to decide what to do with it – (NO Coverage)
- Couple moves into a new house and old house sits empty waiting to be sold for 90 days (NO Coverage)
- Landlord has tenant move out and house sits empty for 3 months (NO Coverage)
- Owner moves into new house and rents out old house but fails to tell insurance company to switch the homeowners policy to a landlord policy (NO Coverage)
- Commercial building that was lost several tenants sending total occupiency rate to less than 31% and fails to tell insurance company of status change (NO Coverage)
If there was a claim in any of the situations above, the insurance company could deny the claim and cancel the policy.
The message we are trying to pass on here is that you need to work with your insurance agent and keep them updated on changes in your life or business so that they can keep your insurance working for you.