Leaving your home for an extended period of time may void your N.C. homeowners insurance coverage so you must be aware of the difference between your home being vacant versus unoccupied. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, your home may be considered “vacant” if unoccupied for 60 days or more. The reason insurance companies have this type of stipulation/guideline directly correlates to the higher increase in risk for a catastrophic loss to take place when nobody is there to observe or mitigate the claim(s) once it happens. If your home is vacant, will you know how to insure your vacant home?
The Difference Between Vacant and Unoccupied
There are some defining factors when deciding whether your home is vacant or merely unoccupied. Assume that you are involved in a serious auto accident or suffering from cancer and are hospitalized for an extended period of time, your home is not vacant, it is just unoccupied. The same scenario applies when you are on an extended vacation; your home is simply unoccupied for that duration. However, always make sure you contact your local N.C. independent insurance agent if you encounter a situation where you will be away from your home for more than 60 days.
Typically, for your home to be considered vacant, several things may be present:
- Utilities are shut off
- The house is empty of furniture/appliances (all personal property) and ready for new occupants
- The home is on the market for sale
From the insurer’s perspective, a house that is vacant/unoccupied poses a higher risk for damages than does a home that is fully occupied. Imagine being gone for an extended time period and having a plumbing back up that eventually turns into catastrophic damages because nobody was there to catch it. Knowing this, it is imperative that you never lie to your insurance company about the vacancy of your home, as it may result in a denial of coverage for any claims or a cancelation of your N.C. homeowners insurance policy. If you fail to inform your insurer that your home is vacant and your company cancels or declines to renew your policy, your new policy is likely to be even more expensive, so always be upfront.
Ask About a Vacant Dwelling Fire Policy
If your home is legitimately “vacant” then no coverage would apply for homeowners claims unless you have a dwelling fire policy in place. Paramount Insurance Agency is here to assist you with any questions regarding the vacancy/occupancy of your home and offers a vacant dwelling fire policy for protection of the structure itself should a fire ensue that results in damages. If you are renting, traveling, selling, renovating or receiving medical treatment that requires an extensive stay for medical care, let us know immediately or if you have any questions regarding a dwelling fire policy for your vacant home, please call TODAY at 866-869-3335.