It happens all the time, sellers move out and think their homeowners insurance which they have paid the premium on for years will cover their vacant home only to find after some disaster they are uninsured. There are so many reasons why a home can stand vacant today, the owner moves into a retirement home, possibly is relocated by a new employer, or have purchased a new home and are waiting for their current home to sell.
Many homeowners ask agents to check on their vacant homes once a week, but a pipe can burst or a blocked sewer pipe can back up or a fire can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage and you can be uninsured with a major loss on your hands and still owe a mortgage company a lot of money.
We saw a home the night before settlement that had been re-modelled by a builder on our street go up in flames after a nearby telegraph pole was hit by lightning, the lightning went through the ground following the electrical cable into the house and blew the junction box starting a fire in the middle of the night which raged for a little while taking hold on the home and burning it to the ground. Afterwards the insurance company argued the home was uninsured as they had not been notified it was vacant.
There is a difference between a vacant home and an unoccupied home where insurance is concerned,so discuss this with your insurance broker or better yet contact Nick Kiniry our insurance manager at Long and Foster in Devon, he can be reached at Nick.Kiniry@LNF.com.
But it is far better to make sure if you are selling your home and the home will be vacant more than 30 days to have some vacant home insurance put in place even though it is not cheap. Long and Foster Insurance has specific policies for vacant homes for builders and for home owners reselling their homes.
When it comes to listing a Main Line home for sale, this is just one of the issues we discuss with clients as we want to make sure they reach settlement without any trouble on the way.
We will be posting some videos and posts about insurance from home warranties, their advantages and why you should definitely consider putting one in place when you list your home, to coverage for investors. So keep an eye open for these in the weeks to come.