by Aya Musa, Insurance Navy, Chicago Illinois

Insurance for vacant homes is becoming more important these days as more people are leaving their properties for sale, or because of foreclosure; or simply for remodeling and rejuvenation purposes. Homeowners and other property owners need to be aware of the special circumstances surrounding insuring vacant homes or properties.

When people have their homes or properties vacant they still need to have some sort of insurance to protect the properties in the event of loss. Standard homeowners insurance policies and property insurance provide protection for homes and properties based on the assumption that these homes and properties are occupied. In certain situations, these homes and properties may not be occupied for some reason, and in these situations homeowners and property owners need to reevaluate their choices.

Properties and homes may be left vacant because they are listed for sale or lease or they are under repair or remodeling.  Most well known property insurance companies will shy away from any vacant property new insurance, if there is no significant reason to believe that the property will be occupied within the next thirty days. The rationale for this practice is that vacant homes and properties embody a much greater chance of loss caused by vandalism, thievery, arson, etc.

Unoccupancy vs Vacancy in Homeowners Insurance: A property or a home is said to be vacant when it contains no people activities or other stored items for a period of 30 days, or 60 days in some insurance contracts. An unoccupied property or home is one where the absence of the insured  or other persons from the property premises is evident;  not inhabited or has no peoples activities but does have items (personal property, business property, furniture, inventory) stored in it.

The Vacancy Clause in Homeowners Insurance and Property Insurance. Almost all insurers set some sort of protection for themselves against vacancy (and unoccupancy) by inserting a clause in the insurance policy. The clause is known as the Vacancy clause, or something with similar meaning.   The clause is put by insurers to evade paying claims on vacant homes and properties. The clause will automatically set the policy for cancellation after 30 consecutive days (some insurers 60 days) of vacancy, or will exclude a number of coverages that were normally included in the original policy such as vandalism, theft, water damage. Once home is reoccupied original policy and coverages are restored.

While most standard carriers will not offer new policies for vacant homes and properties, a number of other insurance companies will do that. However, coverage offered for vacant properties may be limited to the basic coverages such as fire and lightening. Also, if property is under remodeling liability coverage may not be offered at all.
 InsuranceNavy is a Chicago, Illinois based commercial and personal insurance agency and a leader in the Illinois Property Insurance and Homeowners Insurance.  InsuranceNavy is appointed by many commercial Property and liability insurers  in the States of Illinois and Indiana. The agency offers its services through several locations in the Chicago and suburban areas.

For quick and free consultation for your vacant home insurance rates and coverages, quick quotes please call one of our licensed insurance agents at:

(708) 233-4848
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