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Insurance Article

Did You Know That You Can Get Home Insurance for Unoccupied Homes?

December 19 2018

Now available as an add-on to your current home insurance policy as well as standalone policy

Rakesh, an IT engineer, is required to work on-site at client locations for several months in a year. His work entails him to travel extensively to foreign locations to supervise the IT systems of various clients and maintain relationships with them. Since his parents live in his hometown, Rakesh bought a house for himself in the city close to his workplace. However, due to his extensive travel and work commitments, Rakesh’s house is unoccupied for at least a month to 6 months in a year.

Hence, instead of going for a regular home insurance policy, Rakesh chose to go for insurance for unoccupied homes. The insurance for unoccupied home not only safeguards and insures Rakesh’s house from fire, theft and damage but also provides him with peace of mind while he is away for work.

Do you own a second home or does your work require you to travel most part of the year? Don’t worry! You can now avail insurance for unoccupied homes. With rapid globalisation and increasing disposable incomes, people are now buying more than one property, either to be used as a second home or for investment purposes. However, keeping it unoccupied can expose it to considerable threat of vandalism, illegal encroachment or structural damages.

What is Insurance for Unoccupied Homes?

Insurance for unoccupied homes can be referred to as specialty property insurance designed to secure your uninhabited house in case of theft, loss or damage.

Unoccupied homes pose a greater risk of burglary, damage or vandalism for the obvious reason that there is no one staying in the house to prevent it. Moreover, it is also at greater risk in case there is a structural or electrical fault or damage inside the house but is not reported or dealt with immediately, which could cause further serious damages. For example, if the gas pipe starts leaking and is not reported immediately, any small spark in the vicinity can result into serious consequences like the house caught up in fire.

Why do I need Insurance for Unoccupied Homes?

If you are away from your house for more than 30 days at a stretch, you may want to consider buying insurance for unoccupied homes, since different insurance companies have different policies for providing coverage for any damage caused during the period the house was left unoccupied. Hence, it is advisable to speak to your insurer to understand specific limitations around the span of time the house could be left unoccupied and how the company defines it.

Below is the list of few scenarios which could justify why you need to take insurance for unoccupied homes.

  • You’ve bought a second home and visit there only couple of times in a year
  • You’ve bought a new home but would take several weeks before you move-in
  • Your work requires you to travel extensively for most parts of the year
  • You are going to be away for a couple of months for medical treatment
  • You’ve moved to a different place as renovations are going on
  • You rent your house to tenants and are in the process of finding a new house

What are the costs involved as compared to the regular home insurance policy?

You may purchase the insurance as a separate policy or as an add-on to your current home insurance policy depending upon the insurance company’s policy coverage and as per your need. Various home insurance policy providers have varying policy conditions and coverage options. If you are taking it as an add-on to your current home insurance policy , chances are it may only cover the property for damages caused due to fire or theft. Moreover, if you take standalone coverage for unoccupied homes, you may cover it for 10-12 scenarios such as fire, theft, vandalism, loss of contents, etc.

Insurance premiums for unoccupied property are generally higher than standard home insurance policy due to the higher risk associated with it. However, if you are certain about the specific number of weeks or months you shall be away from home, considering it would be a short period, you may discuss this with your insurer and make changes to the policy premium on pro-rata basis to protect it from damage while it was unoccupied.

Be it work, travel or investment, insurance for unoccupied homes will help you secure and safeguard your new home from unforeseen circumstances and with full coverage.

Related Article:

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