Homeowners insurance policies protect homes against a wide range of perils, but every policy has terms and conditions that must be met for its coverages to be valid. Some homeowners policies require homeowners to be living in the insured property, and they won’t cover a home if it becomes vacant. For many homeowners in Saint Albans, which (like much of Vermont) has a high number of seasonal residents, this is an important condition to check.
Vacant Homes in Saint Albans, VT May Not Be Covered by Their Homeowners Insurance Policies
What Qualifies as a Vacant Home?
Most homeowners insurance policies have language that clearly defines what qualifications a home must meet to be deemed vacant or inhabited. As is the case with almost every insurance definition, the criteria that make a home vacant vary slightly from policy to policy.
Most policies usually don’t consider a home vacant if you leave Saint Albans and go on vacation for a couple weeks or even a month. If there is any significant amount of time when no one is using the property, though, your home might be considered vacant. For example, a home might be considered vacant by a policy’s terms if the home:
Is a rental building and will remain unrented for an extended period of time
Will be uninhabited for an extended period of time during a construction project
Is used as a seasonal residence and, therefore, unused during the off-season
Will be uninhabited for a long time for any other reason
Why Don’t All Homeowners Insurance Policies Cover Vacant Homes?
Some homeowners policies don’t include coverage for vacant homes because the risks associated with insuring a vacant home are different than those that come with insuring an inhabited one. When insuring a vacant home, an insurance company must take into account that:
The home is more likely to be broken into or vandalized because no one’s present
If a problem, such as a leak, arises, it may go undetected for a long time and cause significant damage
Squatters or trespassers may come onto the property, which could increase the liability risk
Since the risks change, so must the terms, coverages, limits, and premiums of the policy.
Where Can You Find Insurance for Your Vacant Home in Saint Albans?
Although many homeowners policies don’t include coverage for vacant homes as a standard coverage, many insurers that offer homeowners insurance do provide coverage options for vacant houses. If you talk with an independent insurance agent in the region, you’ll find that there are many insurance companies that offer policies or riders for vacant houses in Saint Albans. The insurance agent you talk with will be able to explain all the differences in the various options and help you choose the one that provides the best coverage for your particular property.
This material is for informational purposes only. All statements herein are subject to the provision, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. For an actual description of all coverages, terms and conditions, refer to the insurance policy.
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