Common Causes of Vacant Property Insurance Claims
Posted on: February 27, 2015 by Aegis Security Insurance
Occasionally property owners find themselves in possession of an vacant property for one reason or another. Whether it is a property they are trying to sell in a sluggish market, a rental property without a current tenant or even a secondary residence for seasonal get aways, unoccupied properties have unique set of insurance needs. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) warns that vacant or unoccupied homes can leave the homeowner exposed to losses and liability concerns that may not be covered by their insurance. Standard homeowner’s insurance policies are not designed to protect properties which go unoccupied for multiple months or longer. As such, securing the right vacant property insurance coverage that meets your clients’ needs is important.
It is important to note the distinction between a vacant home and an unoccupied dwelling. Loosely defined, a vacant property is one that the property owner is no longer residing in nor has and personal belongings left in or on the property. Vacant homes are typically those up for sale or could be abandoned residences. In contrast, an unoccupied dwelling is one where the property owner is no longer residing on the premises, however their furniture, belongings and an other homes contents remain on the property. This is commonly the case with secondary residences and rental properties. Because vacant and unoccupied homes pose a higher risk for losses and damages than occupied homes, coverage for these properties can often be pricy.
Here are a few of the most common causes of loss to vacant and unoccupied properties:
- Break-ins: The largest threat to a vacant or unoccupied property is a break-in. When a property is left unoccupied for any length of time, it can attract attention from thieves to can cause property damage and other losses. While vacant properties often have less vulnerability to theft, vacant homes can become sites of criminal activity which can lead to other property and liability concerns.
- Vandalism/ Arson: Arson, property damage, defacement and vandalism are common among both vacant and unoccupied properties. Such crimes are more likely to be serious and cause wide spread damage when no one is around to stop them or report their occurrence.
- Maintenance/ Upkeep: When a property is unoccupied or vacant, there is often no one maintaining the property and no one around to identify abnormalities such as utilities complications, broken or leaky pipes, gas leaks, and other problems. In turn, these complications can escalate quickly and without the property owner’s knowledge culminating in costly fixes or even complete losses.
- Property liability: In vacant and unoccupied properties, there is no one present to prevent others from entering the property or to supervise activity. This could increase the likeliness of an accident on the premises or property damage when the owner is not there.
Aegis Security Insurance Company doesn’t shy away from providing quality insurance coverage for vacant and unoccupied dwellings including offering premises liability coverage in the event an accident occurs on the vacant property. Aegis Security specializes in serving and meeting the property and casualty insurance needs of hard-to-place and specialty homeowners markets. As part of our unique portfolio of property insurance solutions, we offer competitive Vacant Property Insurance to protect your client’s property and investments. To learn more about our operation and our offerings, contact us today at (800) 233-2160.