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Consider home insurance for vacant properties

Posted On Fri, November 20, 2009

Some consumers are forced into keeping their old house even after buying a new one, especially with the way the housing market is.

As a result, the Insurance Information Institute has noted that many property owners should consider getting home insurance coverage for their old home in order to protect that investment. However, consumers should keep in mind that some insurers will not provide home insurance coverage for vacant homes.

"That's because such occurrences such as theft, vandalism, fire, or water damage are far more likely to happen in vacant houses than in occupied ones and the resulting damage is likely to be worse because no one is around to report it or stop it," Loretta Worters, vice president of the III, said.

If a home remains vacant for more than 30 days, insurance companies will often stop covering it. However, some providers will continue coverage if the homeowner alerts them prior to that window closing.

Also, a number of providers may offer special policies designed specifically for vacant houses. Often, these policies will cover the same thing a regular home insurance policy does, minus things like theft, broken glass or water damage.

A recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau noted that 2.6 percent of all houses in the country were counted as vacant in the third quarter, which is up from the 2.5 percent seen in the second quarter.

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