Managing Risks Of A Vacant Home For Insurance Purposes
Vacant homes face higher risks than occupied homes when it comes to homeowners' insurance. The risk of vandalism, theft, and damage all increase when a house is unoccupied. Below are some of the ways you can manage such risks for your vacant home.
Don't Advertise the Vacancy
You shouldn't let the public know that your house is vacant. Otherwise, you will attract thieves and vandals to your property. Don't post about your vacant home on social media, use automatic timers to switch the lights on and off, keep the yard clean and lawn trimmed, and don't let deliveries stay on the front door for too long. In short, let anyone passing by the house not notice the vacancy.
Strengthen Security Measures
Whatever you do, a criminal or two might notice that your house is vacant and be tempted to break in. Therefore, you should increase the house's security measures to deter such people. Get a good lock for the front door, ensure all the doors and windows are always closed, and install a security alarm for the house.
Install Relevant Safety Sensors
Threats to your vacant home don't just come from outside; even the appliances and fixtures in your home can cause damage. For example, plumbing pipes can break and cause water damage, and electrical systems can malfunction and cause a fire outbreak. Install relevant sensors to alert you, the neighbors, and the authorities when such internal disasters strike. For example, you can install a water sensor and a smoke detector so that you get notified at the first sign of water leaks and fire outbreaks.
Disconnect the Utilities
Disconnecting the utilities in your house can also reduce the risk of damage when you are away. For example, you can turn off the water supply to reduce the risk of pipe breakage and water damage. You can also switch off your air conditioner or electrical circuits (other than the lights) that you won't be using during the vacancy.
Have Regular Assessments and Inspections
Lastly, you should also conduct regular assessments and inspections of the vacant property, particularly if the property has been vacant for a long time. For example, you need to confirm that the plumbing pipes are not frozen, no window has been broken, and the gutters are not clogged with debris. That way, you can get ahead of any teething problems and prevent expensive damages.
Vacant homes typically attract higher home insurance premiums than occupied homes. However, managing your risks as described above should help you keep the premiums reasonable.
For more information, contact a home insurance company.