If you’re moving, you might have to leave your current house vacant when you pack up all of your stuff and get it to the new house. But what happens then? You still need to sell your old Atlanta house, and it’s still a large investment. It’s worth money, so you want to protect it…but what’s the deal with home insurance? Will it still protect the empty house from loss? We’ll explain what you need to know in this situation.
First things first – look at the home insurance policy.
It’s important to look at the home insurance policy of the house that you’re moving out of. Typically, a home insurance policy will specify a certain amount of time that the home can be vacant. (For example, this limit might be 30 days or something like that.)
There is a reason for this. Vacant homes present more risk to the insurance company because there’s no one home to deter trespassers or vandals. There’s also no one to raise the alarm if a fire breaks out. Insurance companies don’t really like risk, so that’s why they tend to place these limits on vacancy.
Anyways, it’s always a good idea to know what your policy says. A claim could be denied if that time limit is up. And that would be bad – then you’d be on the hook to repair the home and recover from the loss. That could turn out to be a real financial hit without insurance to help cushion the blow.
But that’s not the only reason to know how long you can leave the home vacant if you’re moving and selling the house.
If your Atlanta home insurance carrier were to find out that your home was vacant and it’s past the allowed time, they may cancel or drop the policy. And that’s also not a great situation to find yourself in.
Moral of the story: stay in touch with your insurance company and let them know about your situation. They can help you.
How to insure a home if you’re selling the house and have to leave it vacant.
So, you’re probably wondering what you can do to protect that vacant house while you’re selling it. As we said, talk to your insurance company. They’ll be able to take a look at the specifics of your policy. You can talk about your situation with them and get some guidance as far as how to proceed.
For example, you might have someone moving into your house in a week and it’ll only be vacant for that long – and then it won’t be yours anymore. In that case, you might be fine to just leave your home insurance as-is.
But you might not have someone ready to move into the house. Maybe it appears that it’ll take a good amount of time to sell the home. (That can happen.) That might be a situation where you need to consider a vacant home insurance policy. What’s that? We’ll explain.
How does a vacant home insurance policy work?
To start, you might not be going through one of your super well-known insurance carriers with commercials on TV every ten minutes. You might have to find a different carrier that specializes in writing “riskier” homes – meaning they might write vacant home insurance. (And again, this might not be through the carrier that wrote your original, primary home insurance.)
But what about when someone buys the house and moves in? That’s kind of the goal, right? You don’t want to be in the position where you’ve gone and bought a vacant home insurance policy…only to not need it a month or two later. Insurance carriers are, fortunately, prepared for this very situation.
The first thing to know is that you might be able to get a vacant home insurance policy with a shorter policy period – for example, one month, three months, or six months. That way things are a little more flexible.
The other thing you should know is that you’re probably going to be able to get a prorated refund if someone ends up buying the house during your policy. You’d get reimbursed for the insurance that you didn’t need because the house sold. Ask about how the refund works with the vacant home policy you’re considering – and if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask. At any rate, knowing ahead of time how you would be refunded for the extra vacant home insurance if the house sells can help put you at ease when you’re getting your policy.
So, that’s what you need to know about your vacant home in Atlanta if you’re moving. Make sure that it’s properly covered with the right insurance so you can avoid a major financial loss. You may need a vacant home policy to make sure that the house you’re trying to sell is covered.
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