Ask Your Insurance Agent

Empty Home? Ask About a Vacancy Endorsement.

Protect yourself. Ask your agent about a vacancy endorsement.

The housing market slump has left many homes empty, as homeowners move into second homes without selling their first. But, if your summer cottage or rental properties are vacant, if you move out while remodeling, or if aging parents have moved into a long-term care facility, the following information also applies to you.

Though home owner policies vary greatly, they often include a vacancy clause that limits or revokes coverage if the owner leaves the home vacant for an extended period (commonly, 30 days). As insurers see vacant homes on the rise, they also see an increase in theft, vandalism, water damage, fire, and foreclosures. Empty homes with "For Sale" signs or with yellow "Vacant" stickers from the post office are targets for theft and vandalism (copper piping and refrigerators are popular items). Turn off your water, unplug appliances, and ask your agent -- a "vacancy endorsement" can sometimes protect you.
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