A vacant property is considered one in which there are no possessions pertaining to activity or occupancy and the property is not in use. This is different than an “unoccupied” property where the property is simply idle with the intent of using it.
Vacant Property Insurance Coverage
Normal property insurance covers damage to the property as a result of natural and manmade disasters such as:
- Civil unrest
- Wind and hail (to an extent and depending on location)
- Volcanic eruptions
Once the property goes vacant for a period of time, however, the insurance company may terminate some of the insurance. Usually if a property remains vacant for a period of 60 days or more, the insurance company will restructure the insurance for the property. In these cases the primary insurance may continue if:
- The property is being sold
- The owner pays another fee to reinstate the old coverage
- The property is under renovation for future use
Length of Insurance contracts
However, if none of the above is true, then the insurance company may change the policy to provide insurance for vacant properties as opposed to full coverage insurance. Vacant property insurance usually covers only liability with very little protection for the actual structure against fire and other disasters. Insurance companies usually sell insurance for vacant properties on short-term contracts that can last from 3 to 12 months.
Some insurance companies automatically cease insurance for damages but continue liability insurance if a property remains vacant for more than 60 days. If the policy ends and the property is still vacant, the insurance company may refuse to renew the policy. Most vacant property insurance policies do not cover damage to structures unless the structure is a commercial building and the owner purchases specific insurance. Structural coverage can change based on fire-retardant elements such as sprinkler systems.