It is clearly understood that whenever a home is empty, it poses a much greater risk for damage, particularly water damage. With nobody home to take action or call an emergency provider, the longer the home is unattended, the greater the level of damage. Home insurance companies have varying guidelines regarding how long a house can be empty before the insurance coverage is voided or alternatively, a special endorsement is needed. Here are some guidelines on the difference between a vacant home and an unoccupied home,
An unoccupied home is generally ready for occupation. The utilities are functioning and the owner’s furnishings and personal property remain inside. If the home is undergoing extensive renovations but the furnishings and personal effects can remain in the home, then the home is unoccupied. as well, if the homeowner is on vacation or in the hospital, your home is considered unoccupied.
A vacant home is one where the owners have no personal property and the home is clearly vacant. The utilities may be turned off and in its present state, the home is uninhabitable. A vacant home is often the case when a homeowner has moved to a new residence and awaiting the a sale of their previous residence. Or in rental properties after one tenant has moved and a new tenant has not taken possession. Vacant homes present significantly higher risk and special precautions should be taken to mitigate this risk. Advising your insurance provider of the status of your home, whether unoccupied or vacant is a prudent first step.