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Old 04-23-2013, 05:53 AM   #1
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Insurance vacancy clause


I have a house I bought back in November that I have yet to move into due to ongoing whole house renovations. I relative was telling me about a vacancy clause in most all insurance policies that he as a realtor had run up against before that resulted in denied claims on a vandalism. I'm at the house at least 4 days a week for several hours but I don't actually live there and it wouldn't be considered habitable since there is currently no kitchen and only a half bath in service. Does anyone know if insurance would consider this property vacant in this case?

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Old 04-23-2013, 06:04 AM   #2
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Insurance vacancy clause


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Originally Posted by poppameth View Post
I have a house I bought back in November that I have yet to move into due to ongoing whole house renovations. I relative was telling me about a vacancy clause in most all insurance policies that he as a realtor had run up against before that resulted in denied claims on a vandalism. I'm at the house at least 4 days a week for several hours but I don't actually live there and it wouldn't be considered habitable since there is currently no kitchen and only a half bath in service. Does anyone know if insurance would consider this property vacant in this case?
The ONLY way to know for sure would be for you to contact your agent that sold you the policy and have them tell you.

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Old 04-23-2013, 06:08 AM   #3
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Insurance vacancy clause


pick up the phone and drop a dime ...... then you'll know
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:40 AM   #4
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Insurance vacancy clause


Since the house is vacant and technically "under construction," you might be better off with a builder's risk policy. That's what we had for the three years it took us to build our log house. Once we had the Certificate of Occupancy, all it took was a phone call to convert to a regular homeowner's policy. One thing I'm not sure of is how your scenario might be affected if you've hired a general contractor for this work or if you have a construction loan; we had neither.

Please let us know what you find out. I'm curious since we live in an area where there are a lot of people's weekend and summer houses, many fairly new, that are unoccupied most of the time. I've often wondered what sort of policy would be appropriate for that situation.

Last edited by md2lgyk; 04-23-2013 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:31 AM   #5
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Insurance vacancy clause


The ones I have heard of usually say once every two days or once a week or something along those lines. This applies even when you live in the house but go on vacation. They don't want things like a broken toilet flooding the house for a week before someone finds it. And yes someone I know had the broken toilet thing happen. It started on the second floor and damaged all the way to the finished basement.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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Insurance vacancy clause


Ran into this situation myself when we bought the land yacht.

Basically our insurance company stated if your possessions are not in the house then you are not living in the house and its the vacant/fire policy only.

The reason behind this is less to do with you physically being at the house working on it and more driven by the fact the insurance company does not want to be on the hook for when the vandals swing by to avail themselves of the nice shiny copper.

This change in policy coverage came about with all of the Foreclosure activity abandoned homes and the shenanigans of homeowners who were leaving the home. We have all heard the horror stories. It did not used to be this way. Once one company changed, they all followed suit.

Check with your company. I agree with checking into additional coverage while you are working on the house. The builders risk is a great idea and one that we used for a short period of time.

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Old 04-24-2013, 01:23 AM   #7
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Insurance vacancy clause


And most insurance companies, for a price, will more than willingly add a rider to cover whatever you worry about. Just remember to drop it when you start living in the house.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:47 AM   #8
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Insurance vacancy clause


Thanks for the input. I'm with State Farm, which I know has been to court on this in the past. I know someone who works for State Farm but is not my agent that I could talk to about it before getting into adding more coverage.

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