Investing in a home you own might be one of your…
Getting ready for a vacation is always exciting. However, it’s easy to forget the probable risks of leaving your place unattended.
If you plan to leave your home unoccupied for whatever duration, it’s important to adopt various measures to ensure it remains the way you left it upon your return. Here’s a list of things you should do to ensure your insurance is still valid.
Inform Your Insurance Agent
You may be tempted to leave your property without informing your current insurance agent of the change in your home’s status. Hoping that an existing policy will cover you under such circumstances could be a mistake.
Bear in mind that most insurance policies have exclusions for abandonment or neglect of property. A vacant exclusion typically takes effect after your home has been empty for 30 or 60 days.
If you don’t inform your agent or provider that your home is unoccupied, any claim for damage or liability under the homeowner’s policy could be excluded or amount to insurance fraud.
If you plan to be away for over 7 days, this could affect your coverage and some exclusions may take effect depending on the duration of absence or the precautions taken.
For instance, your policy may comprise exclusion for water damage due to freezing unless you have a reliable person visiting the place weekly to ensure the heating system is functioning.
It’s also important to note that laws differ by state and limitations differ by insurer. Therefore, you must understand the terms of your existing policy before a change in status.
Furthermore, you must read the fine print in your policy then email your agent or provider to verify the rules and ensure you’re covered.
An email is ideal because it represents a written record of your communication. The record might come in handy in case the company rejects your claim.
Identify Your Home’s Contents and Threats to Your Home
Unfortunately, no one is immune to fire, theft, or other home risks. Nevertheless, most unoccupied property policies insure various risks including storm and flood. However, it’s always worth verifying any exclusions.
Beware that some insurance firms are hesitant to cover an empty home against malicious damage. Limitations might also exist on theft of contents and any damage originating from water escape.
While loss or damage from calamities such as fire is included in a typical home insurance policy, you can include named perils or those specific to your property. When it comes to jewelry or other valuables, you should inquire whether you need extra coverage.
Secure the Property
An alarm system is the best way to secure your property while you’re on vacation. With the available technology, you’ll be able to have a system with window and door sensors, control panel, and motion sensors.
Oftentimes, you can monitor these features through your mobile phone or internet connection. You might also consider securing the property with approved locks on the windows and doors.
Typically, the insurer will also insist you remove valuables, drain your water system, and switch off utilities. It’s important to note that if a frozen pipe leads to water damage that went unnoticed, your provider could refuse to cover the damage costs if nobody was watching your home.
This is a simple and low-tech way of ensuring your property is covered. It involves asking a dependable neighbor, family member, or friend to drop by your property every now and then to ensure everything is okay.
Request them to check your property more than once per week and request them to pick any post you receive to avoid accumulation, making it obvious that you’re away.
In some instances, the local police can help. Having a police officer conduct a check while you’re away is an extra level of security.
While going on vacation is great, it’s important to prepare your home properly to prevent unnecessary worry or worse, being informed that a break-in occurred at your place. It’s even more important to ensure that your coverage is still valid while you’re away, so adopt these measures.