What insurance coverage is needed for an unoccupied home?

December 17, 2018

We all have insurance, recognizing that whether you have a mortgage or not, your home needs protection. There are many different chapters in our lives, and we are so busy that insurance gets taken for granted.

You need specific insurance for certain circumstances. Here are some examples:

You are purchasing a home, you close and plan to renovate. This new property will be unoccupied temporarily. You must communicate that to your insurance representative. Remember, you purchased insurance with an application to occupy the home. Even though the property is temporarily vacant, it still is a category that the insurance company needs to recognize.

In another instance, you go away or are not selling for 90 days. This property is still your responsibility. You must inform your carrier. There are homes that are vacant (nothing in them) and then there are homes with belongings and furniture which are labeled as unoccupied; your carrier needs specifics. If your home is not occupied, whether it has your belongings in it or not, you must take care to keep your property protected. Safety features are easy to obtain. You can purchase water or heat detectors through a hardware store. There are also sophisticated mechanisms to add to your alarm systems. These products monitor thermostat problems or water on the floor from a broken hot water heater or system.

There are a few different ways to winterize a home. Some owners turn off the water and others bleed the plumbing. If your pipes break in this winter climate and you have not properly taken precautions, your coverage may be compromised.

Homeowner’s insurance has many rules. Have a relationship with your agent. From safety features to changing guidelines, you want your cost for coverage to work for you.

Rest easy if you are in Florida for the winter and your agent is keeping a record of this for your protection. Problems can occur in all seasons. There are websites you can check with complete information regarding home insurance policies.

Barbara Lehrer, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, (203) 640-6407, barbara.lehrer@coldwellbankermoves.com

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