Leaving a house vacant means you’re not around to notice when things go wrong. The fact is, if you go away for more than 30 consecutive days, you may not be able to make an insurance claim if something happens! Empty homes pose a higher risk for losses and damages than occupied homes, so coverage for these kinds of properties is often more expensive than standard home insurance. You cannot rely on a standard home insurance policy if you leave your property unoccupied. Standard policies are not designed to protect properties that go unoccupied for a month or longer.
“Home insurance companies typically require you to contact them and request an endorsement or a special permit for a home that will be unoccupied for 30-to 60 consecutive days. The time limit should be stated in your policy’s vacancy clause. In some cases, you may be charged for a permit or endorsement, but unoccupied home insurance coverage is much less expensive than vacant home coverage. If you routinely divide your time between a primary and a vacation home, you may choose to purchase a package covering both properties when you are and are not in residence.” (https://www.insurance.com/home-and-renters-insurance/coverage/empty-home-insurance.html)
How often should your house be checked when you’re away?
The obvious answer is ‘as often as possible’. Daily is ideal. It may not be feasible to have someone checking up daily. A weekly inspection by a trusted person is the minimum you should be thinking about. The main thing is to avoid visible signs that the property has been left unoccupied for any length of time. The four most common signs of a vacant property are:
1: An overgrown and untended yard.
Possible solution: Contract someone to come and mow the lawn and do a general clean-up every couple of weeks.
2: A vehicle on the drive gathering dust.
Possible solution: Either find somewhere else to park your vehicle or get it cleaned and moved every so often.
3: Mail and newspapers accumulating either in the mailbox or in a pile at your front door.
Possible solution: Get someone to collect them as often as possible.
4: A darkened house at all times with half or fully-closed curtains.
Possible solution: Avoid drawing curtains too far across and buy a widely available and cheap plug-in timer, which can be set to come on at different times during the day and night.
Here’s where we come in:
Home Watch is a vital service for all seasonal residents. This fact is indisputable. Professional home watch providers take the business of watching over vacant homes very seriously. It is a profession – not a hobby or a favor.
There are many well-intended individuals and “Neighbors Doing Favors” who may not know what to look for and are certainly not insured. There are also some downright scoundrels who will not take care of your home at all.
What are their qualifications and training? Who is actually making the visit? What is their experience? Do they have resources to handle a damaging situation? Are they properly bonded and insured? How do they document visits? Trained home watch providers know that anything less than a bi-monthly visit gives the homeowner a false sense of security. Many homes are visited on a weekly basis. (https://yourhwp.com/things-do-happen/home-watch-bandwagon/)
Moore Security and Services offers a full range of home security services that keep you and your home safe and in top condition. Let us provide you with prompt and thorough service you can trust