An unoccupied home is one in which someone is not living at the moment. It is not uncommon for a home to be ready to live in but remain empty for a period of time. However, when this happens, the home insurance agent needs to know. This information becomes critical after 30 to 60 days. If you plan to travel, it may be important to let your agent know your plans as well. Let's take a closer look at this idea.
What Is an Unoccupied Home?
It is important to know what insurance companies classify as an unoccupied home. This is a home with the utilities on and with furniture in place. It is the type of property a person can go back to living in right away. This is different than a vacant home. In a vacant home, the utilities are usually off. No one’s furniture is present. Most agents grow concerned about unoccupied homes left that way for more than 30 days.
What Are the Risks?
Imagine if the next door neighbor was gone for a few weeks. It would likely become obvious to you after some time. The same is true for any other home. Over time, people notice. This causes a higher risk of break-ins and vandalism.
Additionally, unoccupied homes still have valuable belongings in them. With no one home, possessions can be a target for a thief. There is also the risk of an incident occurring and no one knowing about it for a while. For example, a pipe in the kitchen may burst and flood the home. No one knows it happened, and the damage spreads up the walls as mold sets in. This increases the cost of a potential home insurance claim.
Traveling? Here Is What to Do
If you plan to be away from your home for any length of time like this, call your home insurance agent. Update them of your plans. Tell your agent what steps you took to safeguard the home. This may include a security system. You may have someone visiting frequently. It is important to let the agent know.
If the agent learns the house had no occupants for an extended period of time, and you didn't tell them, they may deny claims made on the home during this time. It could mean all of that water damage in the kitchen has no coverage. It is important to learn what your agent expects in terms of learning about your unoccupied home.
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