Are you thinking about buying that vacation home? Perhaps you like to get away from the cold weather in Wisconsin during the winter and are thinking about buying a home down south. It can be a good investment, but providing proper insurance for each property is essential. The big difference, though, is in occupancy. What you may not realize is that a vacant, unoccupied, or seasonal home does not require the same type of insurance as your primary home does. At River City Insurance Agency, we make it our goal to help you find the best fit for your needs.
What Is the Difference?
There are several differences in home insurance for these homes. Here’s a closer look at a breakdown of each type and what they provide.
A Vacant Home
A vacant home is one where there is nothing within it. It is, for the most part, empty and does not have any utilities (or not all of them) on. A key concern with a vacant home is that no one will be present at the home for 60 days or longer. This creates a higher risk for the property.
- It is more likely that vandalism will occur since no one is watching the property. Glass breakage and vandalism is not covered in most vacant home insurance policies. For example, if someone breaks in by smashing the front door or window, this type of damage (and potentially whatever they steal) is not included in your policy.
- Most home insurance for vacant homes is short-term. If the home is on the market, for example, and you’ve moved on, they may extend coverage for a few months. However, long-term coverage is not common.
An Unoccupied Home
An unoccupied home is one that is furnished and ready to live in and use but is not necessarily being used. That is, you have the utilities on in the home. This type of home has various needs regarding insurance. Here are some specifics you can expect.
- The length of being unoccupied matters. Some companies may only give you 30 days to remain on your current policy. Others offer 60 days. You will need to obtain an endorsement noting the home is unoccupied. If you are traveling for a month, for example, update your coverage to represent this.
- If your home is unoccupied for a period of time and you try to file a claim during this time (such as someone stealing something), your policy may not cover the losses unless you have an endorsement in place in advance.
A Vacation Home
This type of home is one used just a few times a year. You may use this as a second home. And, in general, you may recognize the importance of having a policy specifically for that home. Talk to your insurer about your options here. You may be able to add a second home to your existing policy. If it is an investment property, and your plan to rent it out while not in use, you may need a completely different insurance policy.
Finding the Right Policy Can Be a Challenge
There are a variety of factors playing a role in determining which policy is right for your needs. Of course, the best way to avoid problems with such a property is to plan for it. If you expect your home to be vacant or unoccupied for any length of time, work with your insurance agent to find the proper type of coverage for it. In every situation, options exist, but planning in advance is essential to protecting your investment.