At Schneider & Associates, we specialize in insurance for vacant homes and properties throughout Florida. In 2007 when the market crashed, many homes went into foreclosure and sat vacant for months…even years. As the lenders tried to get rid of their inventory, a lot of these homes were purchased as investments properties waiting for the market to return. Some of the homes were rented, but many homes sat unoccupied and unfurnished.
We quickly learned that homes that were unoccupied were very difficult to insure. Most insurance companies in Florida refuse to insure homes that are unoccupied for over 30 days. The reason is that a vacant home has a higher likelihood of claims such as vandalism or an injury claim due to a trespasser being injured (Yes, even someone that was not invited onto your property can sue you for injury). Another reason companies don’t like vacant homes is that a small water damage claim could be a very large water and even mold claim since no one would be home to immediately notice the damage.
Why not buy regular insurance on your vacant property?
When you originally purchased your homeowners insurance, you either agreed in writing or verbally that the home will be occupied. If it is determined that the home was unoccupied when a claim occurs, coverage can be denied. Additionally, most homeowners insurance policies contain specific exclusions and limitations if your home is unoccupied for a duration of more than 30 days.
Normal homeowners insurance policies are designed specifically for owner occupied homes. Only a policy that is designed specifically for a vacant home can cover you in the event you have a claim while your home is unoccupied. Many people are reluctant to switch their insurance during a vacancy because they fear it will cost too much or they won’t be able to find coverage. At SAIA, we offer a variety of affordable options and shorter policy terms based on your needs.
Who Should Buy Vacant Home Insurance?
Anyone that owns a home that is vacant over 60 days needs a vacant home policy. Here are a few examples:
- Your home is for sale, and you are no longer occupying the home.
- Investment Property or Flipping the home. You may be doing some minor repairs before
selling or just waiting for the market to improve.
- You are in the military and deployed/stationed overseas for an extended period of time.
- The original owner has passed away, and you, as the executor, need to continue
coverage until the home has been released (sold, occupied by renters, etc.)
What does a Vacant policy Insure?
Vacant home insurance is generally available to cover many of the most common perils such as fire lightning, wind and even vandalism….to name a few. Most vacant homes insurance policies will exclude water damage, suggesting that you turn off your water main while the home is unoccupied, but at SAIA, we have options available that even include water damage. We can even insure the liability on the property, although you may be able to get this option through your primary home insurance by endorsement.
Get a Quote for Vacant Home Insurance
If you would like a vacant home quote, just our office in Gainesville at 352-333-3775 or our office in Micco at 772-664-3154, or simply complete the form below and an agent will be in touch with you shortly.