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Selling your home can be a stressful process, especially when it doesn't move quickly.  With a new job looming, you may have no choice but to leave the home vacant for a short time until it sells.  The problem?  Vacant homes fall under different insurance rules and can leave you at risk.  Here are a few things you need to know before leaving town.

A vacant home is determined  when there is not enough furniture inside for a reasonable person to live.  It can also apply if all of the utilities have been shut off.  If a home is vacant, the insurance company can deny a claim or drop your policy altogether.  (The rules vary by company.)

Insurance companies view a vacant home as a higher risk.  There are more opportunities for vandalism and no one living there to protect the home from fire or damage.  Many companies will exclude any coverage for vandalism or glass breakage while a home is vacant.  This can leave you responsible for a huge repair bill if a vandal were to cause major damage.  

First you need to talk to your insurance agent and get the details on your policy.  Since policies vary by state and insurance company, there is no single right answer.  Explain the situation to your insurance agent.  Ask what coverage is included and what is excluded (specifically for vandalism).  

You also need to find out if your policy will be non-renewed or canceled while the home is vacant.  If so, now is a good time to start contacting other companies and looking for the coverage you need.  Some insurance companies will continue to cover you, but might increase your premium.  Ask if you can purchase an endorsement for your homeowner's policy that will extend coverage while the property is vacant.  

Selling a home doesn't always follow a quick timeline.  If you're facing the possibility of leaving your home vacant, contact us first at (770)287-9900 and find out how to best protect yourself and your property. 

Posted 10:06 PM  View Comments

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