Owning an empty building can mean serious debt because empty buildings are more susceptible to vandalism, undetected repairs, fire and other losses. If you own a vacant property, it is advisable to purchase vacant property insurance, also known as vacant property insurance or vacant home insurance, to protect you against risks.
The following are the most common risks for vacant properties:
- Lightning damage
- Windstorm or hail damage
- Damage from riots or civil strife
- Sprinkler leak
- Sinkhole collapse
- Vandalism (no one is present to deter vandals)
- Harmful mischief to property and destruction of public property
- Presence of squatters on the property causing damage without the owner̵7;s knowledge
According to some policies, vacant property insurance can provide coverage if your building is vacant for as little as four days. It also protects against liability in the event someone is injured on your property and sues for damages. In some cases, it is required when a property owner dies and the property goes to an estate sale. It may also be a viable option if the property is being sold or is under construction and is uninhabitable.
In addition to purchasing coverage for a vacant building, take the following steps:
- Inspect it regularly for damage or threat of damage
- Close windows and mailboxes
- Install alarm systems triggered by intruders, fires or floods
A typical vacant property insurance policy is one and a half to three times the cost of a property insurance policy due to the increased risks of owning an unoccupied building.
If your residential property becomes vacant, it is imperative that you notify your insurance advisor immediately. If you don’t give enough notice (in some cases the required notice is 60 days after it becomes vacant) and you suffer a loss, coverage may be denied.
We understand that adverse incidents can occur, but appropriate insurance can provide the necessary protection. Contact us today for more information.