If you leave your home for even a few days or weeks you could potentially void your homeowners insurance. In fact, according to ValuePenguin, a free source for information to help you make consumer spending decisions, “If you leave your home unattended even for a few weeks at a time, your homeowner’s policy likely won’t provide coverage in the event of a claim during the time it is unoccupied or vacant. As a result, any damages or losses that occur would have to be paid out of pocket.” A vacant home is a vulnerable home and it has a greater risk of vandalism, theft, weather-related damage and fire. The most common reason that homeowners file a claim on their homeowner policy is storm and wind damage followed by water damage, fire damage and other liability.
Most people are not aware of the differences in an unoccupied home and a vacant home or how their insurance company may view each in terms of coverage. There are many reasons that a home might be empty for example:
- Dividing your time: Primary and vacation home
Some insurance companies offer special seasonal and vacation home coverage for your seasonal property or investment property, and you may be able to consider a packaged deal that covers two or more homes.
- Away for medical treatment
Extended recovery from an accident, illness or surgical procedure may require that you be away for weeks at a time.
- Renovating your home
Construction sites create special hazards: They can be very attractive to thieves who steal everything from light fixtures to appliances to copper wire and pipes.
- Renting or selling your home
“Most insurance companies require either an endorsement or a separate, new home policy for a dwelling left vacant while owners try to rent or sell it,” according to Russ Dubinsky, Executive Director of the South Carolina Insurance News Service.
Home owners who take extended trips may need to purchase an endorsement that provides additional coverage for their unoccupied home.
Home insurance companies have various rules about how long a house can be empty or unoccupied before the insurance is cancelled or an endorsement is required. That is because whenever a residence is empty, the property is at higher risk for damage. For example, if you have a roof leak, an air conditioner failure or leaky water lines, major damage can occur because no one is there to note the roof leak, or to determine why the AC failed, or to shut off the water source for a leaky pipe to minimize damage. An unoccupied home is defined as: a home that is immediately suitable for occupation and whose owner’s personal property remains inside, the utilities are on and the appliances are functioning. You could be on vacation or in the hospital, but, your home is still unoccupied. If a home is vacant the owners have removed their personal belongings and the utilities may be shut off. Vacant homes present the most risk to insurers and this is why it is paramount to discuss these situations with your insurer.
Having Carefree Home Watch monitor your home can help reduce the added insurance cost that you may incur, and provides you with the peace of mind that your home, one of your most valuable assets, is being professionally cared for. We can’t prevent issues from happening to your home, but we can hopefully minimize damages by making weekly visits to your home. You should discuss all scenarios with your home insurance company so there are no surprises.
Carefree Home Watch is a professional home-watch service for the owners of seasonal homes, condominiums, investment properties and owners of unoccupied or vacant homes. In addition to services for seasonal owners, we offer home watch for permanent residents that leave for extended vacation getaways or for any emergency situation. Things can, and do, go wrong when your home is vacant without a professional home-watch company monitoring it year round. Hiring Carefree Home Watch can be one of the best investments you make. We are professionally trained, fully insured and bonded.
We offer some of the most advanced technology in home watch reporting, along with date and time geo fencing that provides proof of visit to your locations. These reports are provided electronically through the QRIDit reporting system. We also offer technology to enhance the overall monitoring experience of your home, by providing you access to information and alerts so you know of variances in temperature, relative humidity and/or any power outages.
OUR PROMISE TO OUR CLIENTS:
“Carefree Home Watch is committed to offering the highest quality/level and reliability of service for all our clients, “ says Terry Meek, Co-founder and Owner, “This commitment to excellence can only be achieved by doing what we say we are going to do and exceeding our clients’ expectations”.