Insurance Concerns to Consider When You Put Your Home on the Market

When you’re getting ready to put your home on the market insurance might be the last thing on your mind. But when you’re trying to sell it’s more important than ever to make sure you have adequate coverage. Here’s how to ensure your investment is protected while selling your home.

Don’t Drop Your Home Insurance

Even if you’re no longer living in the home that doesn’t mean insurance isn’t needed. Vandals may catch on that no one’s around and break in to take whatever they can – including appliances. People will also be coming to view the home, turning on lights and testing things out which could lead to a short that starts a fire or a water leak.

The last thing you want is for an accident or natural disaster to destroy the home you’re trying to sell, but if you have insurance at least you’re financially covered.

How Vacancy Can Affect Home Insurance

A vacant home is very different from an occupied home in the eyes of the insurer. As alluded to above, vacant homes are much more susceptible to loss because no one is there to properly monitor the home.

It’s not uncommon for there to be clauses in the home insurance policy that affect the coverage if the home becomes vacant. Oftentimes if a home is vacant for an extended period of time (30-60 consecutive days) the home insurance will be suspended. Another possibility is that the insurance company won’t be liable for certain types of damage that occurs if the home has been vacant.

Keep in mind:

  • Some policies state that you must inform the company if you are moving out of the home and it will be vacant.
  • The amount of personal property removed from the home can help determine vacancy.
  • If someone else is staying in the home after you have left, it likely won’t be considered vacant.

Insurance for Vacant Homes

Some companies do offer special home insurance for vacant properties. These are short-term policies that are crafted to cover damage that is more likely to occur while a home is unoccupied.

Make Adjustments for Personal Property

Getting back to personal property, there are a few things to consider whether or not you’ll be in the home.

If You Are Remaining in the Home During the Sell

If you’re waiting for closing day before packing up and heading to a new place, there are concerns that need to be addressed in regards to your property. It’s an unfortunate fact that opening your home up to buyers makes you more vulnerable to theft. Make sure that your home insurance is up-to-date and that valuable items have adequate coverage.

If You’re Moving Before the Sale

If you’ve started moving possessions out of the home then you don’t need personal property to be covered like it was before. Again make adjustments to your policy to reflect what is no longer in the home. Home sales often take more than 30-60 days so it’s best to go ahead and switch to a plan specifically for vacant homes if you’re moving the majority of your possessions or don’t plan to live in the home during the sell.

Before you put your home on the market, give your insurance provider a call to make them privy to the situation. They may be able to make suggestions on how you can save on the premium or additional considerations for adequate coverage.

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