Away For 4 Days? Get Unoccupied Property Insurance.
As your business needs evolve, so may your property requirements. If your company is moving operations between cities, one or more of your locations may be unoccupied for a short or extended period of time.
According to the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI), “A vacant building contains little or no furniture or other personal property. Even if it is not vacant, a building is unoccupied when people are absent.”1
Unoccupied property can pose a serious risk to your bottom line because vacant properties are more susceptible to vandalism, undetected repairs, fire and other losses. Your existing commercial property insurance may exclude coverage because of the vacancy. Vacant or unoccupied property insurance coverage is designed to fill this gap and cover common risks for unoccupied property such as:
- Malicious mischief on the property and general property destruction
- Presence of squatters on the property causing damage without owner’s knowledge
- Lightning, windstorm or hail damage
- Sprinkler leakage
How Unoccupied Property Insurance Helps
Under certain policies, vacant or unoccupied property insurance coverage can provide protection if your building goes unoccupied for as few as four days. It also protects against liabilities in the event someone is injured on your property and sues for damages. It may also be a viable option if your business is in the process of selling the property, filing for bankruptcy or if the property is under construction and/or not suitable for a use.
In addition to vacant property coverage, you can:
- Seal off windows, doors and remove valuable inventory and/or goods
- Install alarm systems that are triggered by intruders, fires or floods
- Hire a contractor to erect temporary fencing
- Regularly inspect your unoccupied for damage or threats of damage and/or hire third party security to monitor or regularly physically visit and inspect the building.
Due to the increased risks associated with owning an unoccupied or vacant building, a typical vacant property policy is one and a half to three times the cost of regular property insurance coverage. While unfavourable incidents may occur, vacant or unoccupied property insurance coverage can offer necessary protection for your assets.
Can you insure an unoccupied building?
You can insure a vacant building that you own. For example, if you’re in the process of moving or your previous tenants have just moved out, insurance can still protect your unoccupied property against insured perils.
Typically, you want to purchase unoccupied property insurance if you plan on leaving your property vacant for 30 days or more.
What is unoccupied property insurance?
Your standard home insurance policy only covers your primary residence and won’t protect any vacant properties against insured perils or damages. That’s because vacant properties pose a higher risk of break-ins and slower response times in the event of an emergency, such as a fire.
Unoccupied property insurance is designed to protect your unoccupied property against damages and loss. An unoccupied property is a property that is furnished and has utilities set up but no residents have moved in yet. You can also have vacant property insurance, which is for properties that are empty and you don’t plan on moving in or renting them out.
Speak with an insurance specialist to determine whether your property is defined as unoccupied or vacant before purchasing an insurance policy.
Can you insure a house you don’t live in?
Yes, you can insure a house you don’t live in. We offer many home insurance properties that fit the needs of individuals with investment or seasonal properties.
Landlord insurance protects any rental properties you have, such as houses, condo units, short-term units, and apartment buildings. It protects your belongings, equipment, and structures on your property, such as garages, sheds, and fences, against insured perils.
If you own a cottage that you only live in during certain months, seasonal cottage insurance can protect your property when you need it.
Can I have two home insurance policies?
Yes, you can have two home insurance policies depending on the types of property you have. For example, you can have a standard home insurance policy and a separate one for investment properties or vacant homes.
If you have multiple home insurance policies, you’ll have to pay individual monthly premiums for each of your policies.