Did you know that more than 16 million homes are sitting vacant across the U.S.? This can happen when investors hold a property for long-term price appreciation without renting it out. It can also occur when an owner decides to let a property sit vacant during the off-season. This decision is common in beach towns during the winter and ski towns during the summer, for example.
This begs the question, should you insure an unoccupied house?
The short answer is yes, because a lot can get damaged, stolen, or deteriorated when a property is left unoccupied.
If you have a vacant home that you cannot be on-site to monitor, then I would encourage you to make sure that you investment is protected. With the average home price in the United States now soaring toward $500,000, having the right vacant house insurance can give you the security you need to protect such a large investment.
Read on to find out what vacant home insurance covers and why you might need it.
1. Damage Caused by a Fire
Damage caused by fire is one of the many things that vacant house insurance covers.
This type of insurance is vital for any home that will be empty for an extended period of time, because it protects the property from a number of risks.
Fire is one of the most common risks that vacant homes face, and having insurance can help to ease the financial burden that comes with it.
A typical vacant house insurance policy will cover damage caused by a fire. This includes damage to the structure of the house, as well as any contents that may be inside. If the house is uninhabitable as a result of fire damage, the policy will also cover the cost of alternative accommodations.
In the event that someone broke into your vacant home and stole items, your vacant house insurance policy will reimburse you for the value of this stolen property. The policy will also cover the cost of repairs to the home if there are damages during the break-in.
It is important to note that this type of insurance does not cover your personal belongings. That is why you have to get separate insurance for these items.
If you have valuable items in your home, you may want to consider purchasing a rider to your policy to insure them for their full value.
If you have vacant house insurance, then you have coverage in the event of vandalism. This includes things like broken windows, graffiti, and other damage to the property.
But there may be some caveats. For example, the policy may have a deductible that you should meet before coverage kicks in. Additionally, the policy may exclude certain types of vandalism.
The coverage may vary depending on the policy. That is why it is important to check with your insurer to see what it covers. In some cases, you may need to buy extra coverage to be fully protected.
4. Damages Caused by Trespassers
A vacant house insurance policy covers the costs associated with damages caused by trespassers. This can include things like repairing broken windows and even reimbursing the homeowner for lost rent if the property was being used as a rental property.
Your vacant house will be covered in the event of trespassing, however, there may be some exclusions or limits in your policy. Be sure to check your policy documents to see what is covered.
Generally, vacant house insurance will cover damage caused by trespassers, but not any damage caused by you or your family members.
It is important to have this coverage if you are asking yourself how to sell my house fast, because it will protect your investment and give you peace of mind that you could put your vacant home on the market at anytime—without having to do major repairs.
5. Damage Caused by Animals
Vacant home insurance typically covers damage caused by animals, unlike regular home insurance policies. This is because animals can cause a lot of damage to a home, and it’s not always possible to prevent them from getting inside.
If you have vacant home insurance, you may be covered for damage caused by animals, up to the policy limit. This coverage is usually pretty affordable, so it’s a good idea to have if you’re not living in your home.
6. Hail Damage
In the event of hail damage, most policies will also cover the repair or replacement of any damaged roofs, windows, or siding.
In some cases, the policy may also cover the costs of debris removal. Any repairs or replacements that are required as a result of hail damage should be covered by the policy, up to the policy limit.
7. Snow Damage
Insurance policies for vacant houses will also cover snow damage to the home, but there may be some exceptions. Check with your insurance company to be sure what these are.
Snow damage can include the weight of the snow on the roof, leaks from the roof, and damage from falling snow or ice.
8. Wind Damage
Insurance on a vacant house typically covers wind damage to the structure of the home, as well as any contents that may be inside. This coverage can help protect against costly repairs or replacements that the property needs after a storm.
The policy may cover wind damage caused by hurricanes, typhoons, and other storms. It might also cover damage caused by high winds, tornadoes, and other weather events. It is important to check with your insurance provider to see what exactly your policy covers.
9. Water Damage
Vacant house insurance policies will cover some form of water damage, though the specifics will vary from policy to policy.
In general, the policy covers water damage caused by burst pipes, storms, and other water related accidents. In many cases, overflowing toilets, leaky hot water heaters, and broken faucets are covered too.
Should You Get Vacant House Insurance?
Vacant house insurance is a smart insurance to carry if you own a piece a real estate that will be empty for an extended period of time. Although a vacant house may seem like it does not need insurance, there are actually many risks associated with owning one.
Vacant house insurance covers these risks and can help protect your property.
There are many things to consider when buying vacant house insurance. Make sure to read the policy, and of course, ask questions to be sure you are clear on what is and is not covered.