Question My mother is moving to an assisted living facility, and my siblings and I don’t know what’s next for our family home. My brother says that if the house is going to be empty for an extended period of time, we might want vacant home insurance. I’d never heard of it. What is vacant home insurance and why would I want to consider it?
We posed this question to Cynthia Irvin, a Farmers Insurance agent based in Benbrook, Texas. Here’s what she had to say about vacant home insurance.
Answer It’s a great question, because a lot of people are probably unaware of vacant home insurance, and some of the common situations where having it makes sense. Have you moved into a new home but haven’t sold your old one? Do you own a rental property but you’re in-between renters? Are you doing a large, extended renovation and your house is empty of your belongings?
Generally, your home is considered vacant if it’s left empty for 30 to 60 days or more. Most typical homeowner policies won’t provide full coverage for the property once it’s been vacated. Vacant home insurance can be purchased to help.
Having a vacant home can make it more susceptible to problems that may not be unlikely when there’s someone home. For instance, if there’s a big storm and your roof leaks, you won’t be there to notice water turn from a puddle to a swimming pool. Your absence also increases the risk of a break-in or damage from vandals.
Vacant home coverage covers perils like fire, explosion, lightning, wind and hail. At Farmers, we offer optional coverage for acts of vandalism and mischief. There’s also optional liability coverage, in case you’re found responsible for an accident on the vacant property.
With Farmers vacant home insurance, you will receive the full amount of insurance you purchased on your home (minus any applicable deductible) if your vacant home is totally destroyed by an insured loss. While some companies write vacant policies that renew every three or six months, vacant policies from Farmers are written for a 12-month policy period. Plus, we offer a prorated cancellation (subject to a minimum earned premium), in case you need to move back into the home, sell it or find a tenant.
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