The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that there were already 18.6 millions empty homes in the country during quarter one of 2008. Most were attributed to abandoned homes by families failing to make monthly payments, while over a million has been foreclosed or repossessed by banks or lending institutions.
The rest are from still unoccupied homes that are for sale, reaching approximately 2.3 million units. With these figures, home sellers might find it hard to dispose of their homes and could lose money with expired home insurance policies, unless they keep their vacant homes occupied until a sale.
Home insurances will expire if the house is vacant for more than 30 days as insurers categorize a vacant home as a higher risk. Vacant homes are susceptible to theft, vandalism, and damage which both owners and insurers are trying to avoid.
There is, however, available home owner insurance specifically catering to coverage for property and liability of vacant homes. Coverage may vary depending on your location for these types of insurances but one thing is for sure – these vacant home insurance policies can be very costly.
There are some available ways, however, for homeowners to save on costs for vacant home insurance.
- Get a real estate agent or a broker who can sell homes fast even in the current slow market, preferably within your 30-day grace period.
- If you were trying to sell your old home, it would be best to delay transfer until your old property has been sold. Another option would be for either the wife or the husband to stay in the house, or another family member or trusted friend to stay in the house until it is sold. If this is not possible, rent it out temporarily. You may have to adjust your home insurance and change it to rental status.
- Maintain the house to make it appear lived in. Have someone collect your mails, put timers on lights, or let a neighbor park their car on your lot. However, whatever you do, avoid committing fraud.