Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What To Do When Your Home Is Vacant

Selling your home can be a stressful process, especially when it doesn't move quickly.  With a new job looming or the purchase of a new house, you may have no choice but to leave the home vacant for a short time until it sells.  

The problem?  Vacant homes fall under different insurance rules and can leave you at risk.  Homes are typically considered vacant when the utilities are shut off and/or furniture has been removed.  If you forget to tell your agent that your home is vacant, you might not be covered in the event of a loss

Insurance companies view a vacant home as a higher risk.  There are more opportunities for vandalism and no one living there to protect the home from fire or storm damage. 

So what should you do when moving?

First you need to talk to your insurance agent and get the details on your policy.  Since policies vary by state and insurance company, there is no single right answer.  Sometimes an insurance company can make an exception to your current homeowners policy if you give them a heads up ahead of time.

If you do have to purchase a separate policy to cover your home as a vacant home, many carriers allow you to do this for a shorter period of time such as 3, 6 or 9 month increments.

Explain the situation to your agent.  Ask what coverage is included and what is excluded (specifically for vandalism).  Also, you want to find out what changes can be made to protect your home. For example, investing in an inexpensive alarm or camera system might help not only in the insurance cost but also in your peace of mind. You can also look into having your real estate agent or a property manager periodically check in on the property every few days to be sure that the house is okay.

Selling a home doesn't always follow a quick timeline.  If you're facing the possibility of leaving your home vacant, contact us first and find out how to best protect yourself and your property.  

At the Bryan Insurance Agency, we are the leading agent for vacant homes and homes under construction in the Hudson Valley and Long Island. Contact us for a quick tips sheet on how to keep your home safe. You can reach us at 888-565-2212 or online at 

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