What Types of Property Need Vacant Property Insurance?
Homes, rental properties and business buildings can be unoccupied for several reasons. The previous homeowner might have been evicted, for instance, and the property might be sitting empty while it awaits a new buyer or lessee.
Or maybe a home’s current owner has already moved into a new home but hasn’t yet sold the old house. Perhaps a business owner has invested in extensive upgrades to her building, requiring it to be unoccupied during the renovations. Maybe a military member stationed overseas owns a home in the US that sits empty most of the year. Or maybe an apartment unit is empty while awaiting a new tenant.
Vacant Dwelling Insurance: Designed for the Unique Risks of Vacant Property
Occupancy requirements are included in standard property insurance policies because unoccupied buildings—be they homes, businesses, apartment complexes or something else—face a higher risk of certain perils compared to occupied buildings:
- Insect incursion
- Frozen or busted pipes
These differing risk levels are why insurance companies have created and issue different policy types for vacant properties and owner-occupied buildings.
Why Can’t Homeowners Insurance Take The Place Of Vacant Dwelling Insurance?
Some insurance carriers allow homeowners to add a vacant property as an addendum to an existing policy. However, such coverages aren’t standard, so you’ll need to review your policy or call your agent to know for sure. If you own a vacant property, it’s extremely important to carry the proper policy type.
If you insure a vacant property with standard home or business insurance and file a major claim, it will probably be rejected once the insurance company realizes you’re carrying the wrong coverage. In fact, the entire policy will probably be voided, leaving you on the hook for all the property damages.