Insurance when property is vacant?

6 Replies

I wanted to hear if anyone else has had their property gone through long period of vacancy during the winter months.  I always assumed they change the status and charge a different rate or policy when its vacant.

Apparently my insurance company cancelled my policy when it was vacant for too long.  

I found out today when i was told by my prop manager that the AC unit was stolen and tried to file a claim.

Yes. You are correct that the policy/rate is going to be a bit different when the property is vacant. I'm not sure about them cancelling the policy after too long? Not sure why they would intentionally stop taking your money?

@John Ma Most policies have a "Vacancy" Clause.  This clause will change the coverage's within the policy after a certain period of time, most commonly 60 days. 

Theft coverage is one of the main coverage's that is usually changed.  Meaning on day 61, there is no longer theft coverage.

Another coverage that can changes is Vandalism. 

Each company has there own guidelines, but most of them have different ways of dealing with vacant properties. Even if you do have insurance in effect on a property an insurance company doesn't have to pay if it has been vacant more the 60 consecutive days. Unless you put a vacancy clause on your policy for the time being (really expensive). The exception to this is a builders risk policy which is insuring a property during rehab, which will always be vacant until completed. BTW I'm an insurance agent in Texas by day, investor by night.

Like others stated, it's not uncommon to have such a clause.  The exact wording and number of days can vary by company.  My rental policies specifically exclude "damage caused by burglars if the dwelling has been vacant for more than 30 consecutive days immediately before the damage occurs".  (Never had a property vacant that long though.)

In your case, did they cancel your entire policy or just deny your claim?  They should have notified you if they cancelled your policy. 

Yes they notified that they were terminating my policy.   I figured that meant they are switching it to an unoccupied policy like my old insurance co did.   

I talked to my insurance co and they don't do unoccupied policies.

I guess I'm screwed out of of a stole HVAC unit huh?  The plus is after i get a new one, i wont have to worry about the unit for a while.  

@Joshua Pope that's a great, concise answer!

One additional thought - our carrier does do vacant properties. But if we don't notify the carrier and they find out the property is vacant, they can cancel our policy if the vacancy has been too long.  Once when we did forget, they gave us the option to retroactively disclose & pay-once we certified no claims through the current date.