Vacant Home Insurance: How Much It Cost?

Homeowners insurance is designed to cover primary residences, or homes that are occupied full time. If your home is vacant for weeks or months on end, then it’s at heightened risk of sustained damage from certain hazards like house fires and burst pipes, since no one is home to report the damage or alert the authorities. Vacant homes are also more susceptible to burglary and vandalism.

standard homeowners insurance policy specifically points out that homes vacant for more than 60 days are not covered for theft or vandalism, but it’s not uncommon for insurers to extend that exclusion to other causes of loss like fire and water damage.

How Much Vacant Home Insurance Cost?

The cost of vacant home insurance policies varies based on the insurance company, the policy you choose and the home’s risk profile. Because unoccupied and vacant homes often pose a greater risk, vacant home insurance is expensive — averaging about 1.5 to 3 times more than a standard insurance policy for an occupied home. Of course, this is for an annual plan. If the home doesn’t sit vacant for long, the annual cost may be prorated. Some companies may also allow you to purchase shorter-term policies.

Factors That Affect Vacant Home Insurance Costs

Although vacant property insurance can be expensive, certain things impact the costs. Two examples are the planned length of vacancy and the reason the property is vacant both. Generally, a home that is in between tenants or a vacation rental property is less expensive to insure than a home that is vacant because it needs repairs.

Factors that affect vacant property insurance costs include:

  • Length of vacancy: Generally, the shorter the vacancy, the lower the risk, which results in a lower insurance premium
  • Reason for vacancy: If the reason for the vacancy is that the property is being renovated or the owner suffered a medical emergency, the premium is often lower than if the property has no future occupancy plans
  • Security system: Installing burglar alarms and other security measures generally earn a small discount on the insurance premium
  • Property condition: The better the property condition, the lower the vacant home insurance policy cost
  • Multipolicy discount: Getting more than one policy from an insurer often results in a lower cost for your unoccupied home insurance policy
  • Neighborhood: Insurers typically charge more when a vacant home is on a street with multiple boarded-up houses or in proximity to high-crime areas
  • Replacement cost: Larger homes with more upgrades cost more to replace in a loss, and this increases the amount of coverage required and the overall cost of insurance
  • Property oversight: A vacant property that is regularly monitored by a real estate agent or an on-site contractor has less risk than a second home in the middle of nowhere in a mountain town

How to Buy Vacant Home Insurance

Buying vacant home insurance is similar to buying standard homeowners insurance. You might be able to purchase a standalone policy or endorsement through your existing homeowners insurance company. Here are the steps you should take to buy empty house insurance:

Shop around

The first step in buying vacant home insurance is to find the right carrier for you. Check to see if your home insurance provider offers an endorsement or standalone policy. If so, you might qualify for a policy bundling discount. If you want to buy a separate policy, shop around for providers that offer vacant home coverage in your state. Pay special attention to the coverage options, add-ons and discounts.

Get quotes

The next step is to get quotes from the companies you researched. For the most accurate rate estimate, call an agent and explain your situation. They can recommend an appropriate amount of coverage, help you choose your policy limits and see if you qualify for any discounts. Get quotes from a few different companies if possible so you can compare them and see which company is offering best coverage for your needs at the lowest price.

Set up a policy

The last step is to finalize a vacant home policy or add the endorsement to your current policy for your coverage to be in effect. If you are setting up a vacant homeowners insurance policy to replace your standard homeowners insurance policy, make sure to avoid a lapse in coverage. Your insurance agent will guide you through the process of how to avoid a coverage lapse.

ONYX Insurance Brokers can assist you in your insurance needs. Contact or email us now!

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