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There is this misconception that owning a vacant or unoccupied piece of property would pose less of a threat than owning a space with a fair amount of contents. You have less to lose, right? Whereas you may have fewer contents and the risk of damage or loss may not seem as great, the risk of owning a vacant property can be extreme. Whether you are selling your house, renovating it or moving a family member out, it is always a good idea to invest in vacant home insurance because any vacant and or unoccupied property is subject to vandalism, theft, illegal tenants, water damage and flooding… just to name a few.* Vacant home insurance will ensure you’re covered if any such risks do occur.

To begin, burglaries in vacant homes are quite common. The burglar knows that no one is home, therefore the chances of getting caught are not as great. According to Legacy Navigator, most burglaries happen during the daytime (between 10 am and 3 pm) when people are at work.** Although it may appear as there aren’t many “material” items to steal, copper from wiring and air conditioning units are very attractive to burglars (maybe add “because they can in turn sell them for a profit” or something along those lines). Sometimes, though, these intruders are just teenagers causing trouble, and don’t mean any harm. They are mainly just looking for a remote hangout location. No matter the intention though, these damages can still cost you.***

A vacant home also introduces illegal tenants who think that they can dwell at the property since no one else is using it. However, it can be difficult to remove them from the property. Once you find out that they live there, of course you can ask them to leave… but they may or may not abide. If they choose not to leave, they may have landlord-tenant rights as holdover tenants, who are renters that remain in a property after the lease has ended. If this becomes the case, then you may need to seek legal advice.****

Unoccupied/vacant home insurance provides coverage for a home that is uninhabited. For example, for the most part, homeowners insurance won’t cover a fire, vandalism, or liability if the home has been unoccupied for a while. According to ValuePenguin, if you are planning to leave your home for at least 30 days, you should consider purchasing vacant home insurance.

Listed below are reasons when this kind of insurance would be valuable:*****

  • You own a vacation home that you don’t visit more than a few times per year.
  • You’ve purchased a home, but you won’t move in for a while.
  • You travel for long periods at a time.
  • You have to undergo a medical treatment, which requires you to be in the hospital for weeks.
  • Your home is being renovated so you won’t move in until the renovations are complete.
  • You’re renting out a home and are in between finding tenants.

In summer, empty homes can actually pose greater risks than occupied ones through acts of vandalism or intrusion, and not all homeowners policies will keep you covered. We at Penny Insurance can help you. to connect with a Penny Insurance agent to discuss your coverage options.

*https://www.landlordology.com/risks-of-leaving-a-property-vacant/
**https://www.legacynavigator.com/the-blog/blog/vacant-house-risks-insurance
***https://www.landlordology.com/risks-of-leaving-a-property-vacant/
****<https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/holdover-tenant.asp
*****<https://www.valuepenguin.com/unoccupied-and-vacant-home-insurance