Last Updated on October 20, 2022 by Gardens Home Management Services

Did you know you need vacant home insurance when you move to a new property? Yes, if you still owe the mortgage holder for the previous property, it is your responsibility to insure the house until it is sold and your mortgage cleared. But do you need vacant home insurance on your secondary home in South Florida? An insurance company or broker can provide more detailed, customized guidance. Let’s take a general look at vacant home insurance.  

Unoccupied vs Vacant Home Insurance

There is a difference between the terms unoccupied and vacant, although insurance policies often do not provide clear definitions. However, policies contain vacancy exclusions but not unoccupancy exclusions, making the distinction very relevant when claims arise, as vacant homes are more likely to be vandalized. What do the two terms mean? 

Unoccupied. The house is ready to be used as a residence as there is furniture and the utilities are set up, allowing the owners to return at any time.

Vacant. The house is completely empty of furniture and personal property and cannot sustain normal occupancy.

Does Your Insurance Plan Cover Your Home When Unoccupied?

Generally, homeowners insurance policies do not cover liability, vandalism, fire, or other types of claims on an unoccupied home. It is possible to buy unoccupied property insurance as an endorsement to an existing homeowners policy for additional coverage. However, people often purchase separate insurance for unoccupied homes. Why is it beneficial? Because you do not have to pay for the standard homeowner’s policy anymore.      

Why does an insurance provider not cover an unoccupied home on the standard policy? A home that is uninhabited presents a greater insurance risk. For example, if there is a fire in an occupied home, it will be called in immediately, while with an unoccupied home, it might only be attended to when a neighbor notices the danger.

Do You Need Vacant Home Insurance?

There are specific situations that result in vacant homes, and when you look for insurance, investigate all the coverage options before making a decision. What are some of the vacancy reasons that might require vacant home insurance?

  • A rental property sits empty during the off-season, or you are struggling to rent it out due to economic circumstances beyond your control.
  • Extensive renovations or repairs are performed, making the property uninhabitable.
  • The house is in the process of being sold, but you moved into a new property.
  • You are traveling for an extended period and storing all your belongings.

What Does Vacant Home Insurance Cover?

Vacant home insurance policies cover the most basic types of damage that could happen when a property stands empty and is available for a period of time ranging from three to twelve months, depending on the insurance company. The policy should list the perils covered and be clear on any exclusions. Examples of risks covered are lightning, hail, wind, vandalism, explosions, fire, and theft. 

Is your property in a hurricane prevalent area such as South Florida? When you use the hurricane preparation service from Gardens Home Management Services, your vacant home is as protected as possible.

Insurance Benefit With Home Care Services

Whether you have a vacant property or an unoccupied house in the Palm Beach area, using home care services will give you peace of mind and might lower your insurance risk profile. Home care services such as Home Watch from Gardens Home Management Services include weekly inspections of the interior and exterior of the house. After every check, you receive a report with the checklist and photos of the property.  

Gardens Home Management Services (GHMS) provides a home management service to communities in Palm Beach County, Florida. Our custom-tailored packages help preserve and protect your home. Do you need interior house cleaning or electrostatic disinfecting spraying done? We can assist. Our home care services ensure there is always a presence at your property in support of your vacant home insurance. To learn more, contact Gardens Home Management Services today.