Here’s a situation that plays out in Wisconsin sometimes. A homeowner is planning to sell his or her property but finds one to purchase first. They move out, leaving behind their existing home. It takes a while to sell, though. Then, a situation occurs where the previous home is damaged. But, what many property owners do not know is that even if you have insurance on these homes, if they are vacant or unoccupied for any length of time, you may not have any protection from damage.
How does this happen? What should you do about it?
What Your Primary Home Insurance Limits Are
It’s important to know the differences in the types of vacant homes and whether or not your existing home insurance policy can offer help. Here’s a closer look.
Vacant homes are those left empty for any length of time. Generally, a home left vacant for 30 to 60 days is at risk of lacking coverage. These homes have no furniture in them. No one could easily live there without getting the utilities turned back on. Your home insurance is only likely to cover these homes for a short period – usually under 30 days. After this, you will need to have another insurance policy in place.
Imagine vandals breaking into the home. There is no one living there, which makes it very easy for a problem to occur. What’s more, they could set fire to the home, leaving you without any protection. Safeguarding your home with a new policy, one designed for your vacant home, is best. These policies are hard to find, though.
Your home insurance will likely only cover an unoccupied home for 30 days. Some may allow for up to 60 days of protection. This type of home has home furniture in it. The utilities are on, and someone could live there easily. However, you are out of the home for some time. You could be traveling, ill, or just going between locations.
If you do not let your home insurance agent know that the home is unoccupied, you may not have coverage for it. Let’s say a pipe bursts in the basement on a cold Wisconsin winter. The problem isn’t discovered for a few days or longer. The damage may not be covered under your existing home insurance policy if your agent does not know the home is unoccupied.
A seasonal home is one you could use a few times a year. You do not live there, but you use it for vacations. Many people in Wisconsin have these. If you do, your existing home policy may offer coverage for a second home. Some do not allow this, though. In this situation, you need to have a policy specifically created for that property.
If it is a rental property, be sure to invest in comprehensive coverage representative of the way the home is used. If you rent it to someone who creates damage, and your agent does not know you’ve used it in this manner, you could be without the coverage you need.
Having a Team to Help You Matters
If you are in need of a home insurance policy for a vacant, unoccupied, or seasonal home, work with a licensed insurance agent with ample experience in this area. Our team at Erica Boll Insurance is happy to help you create a policy properly representative of the type of coverage your space needs. Do not underestimate the importance of having coverage that fits your needs.