Selling your home can be a stressful process, especially when it doesn't move quickly. WIth a new job looming, you may have no choice but to leave the home vacant until it sells.
The problem? Vacant homes fall under different insurance rules and can leave you at risk. Here are a few things you need to know before leaving town:
A vacant home is determined when there is not enough furniture inside for a reasonable person to live. It can also apply if all the utilities have been shut off. If a home is vacant, the insurance company can deny a claim or cancel the policy altogether (the rules vary by company).
Insurance companies view a vacant home as a higher risk. There are more opportunities for vandalism and there is no one living there to further protect the home from fire or damage.
Many companies will exclude any coverage for vandalism or glass breakage while a home is vacant. This can leave you responsible for a huge repair bill if a vandal were to cause major damage.
Your first step is 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. Explain what your situation is to your agent and ask what is covered and what is excluded. Some insurance companies will continue coverage while the home is vacant for a set period of time (30, 60 or 90 days). Otherwise, you will need to cancel your homeowners policy and obtain a vacant policy.
Selling a home doesn't always follow a quick timeline. If you're facing the possibility of leaving your home vacant, contact Thomas E. Sears Insurance Agency at (978) 562-3464 and find out how to best protect yourself and your property.