How To Buy Vacant Property Insurance
How do you know if your property is really vacant? A property that’s empty, infrequently used, seasonally inhabited and/or periodically rented may or may not be “unoccupied”. Usage frequency is important to accurately gauge when you are looking at coverage options. Understanding vacancy – from the insurance company’s perspective – is key when you want to buy coverage for a property that may not always be 100% occupied.
In fact, according to IRMI (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
What starts out as a business property may change over time. 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. Or if you buy a condo or cottage to put on the short-term rental market, chances are it won’t be 100% occupied 365 days each year.
How Unoccupied Property Insurance Fills Gaps.
Unoccupied property can pose a serious risk to your bottom line. Statistically speaking, vacant properties are more susceptible to vandalism, undetected repairs, fire as well as other losses. Your existing commercial property insurance may specifically exclude coverage because of the vacancy.
This is why vacant property insurance fills a key gap as well as covers common risks for unoccupied property, such as:
- Lightning, windstorm or hail damage
- Malicious mischief on the property and general property destruction
- Presence of squatters on the property causing damage without the owner’s knowledge
- Sprinkler leakage
Why Time Is Of The Essence With Any Vacant Property.
Do you know about the 96-hour window? 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.
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If you are selling the property, filing for bankruptcy or if it is being renovated and/or not suitable for use, the right property insurance can fill a critical gap.
4 Ways To Proactively Manage Vacant Property Risks.
You can also be proactive and protect your vacant, under construction and/or infrequently used property. In addition to vacant property coverage, you can:
- Hire a contractor to erect temporary fencing during the construction and/or renovation period
- Install alarm systems intruders, fires or floods will trigger
- Regularly inspect for damage and/or threats of damage. Hire third party security or property sitters to monitor and/or regularly physically visit and inspect the building and property.
- Seal off windows, doors and remove valuable inventory and/or goods
Insight: Due to increased risks associated with unoccupied and/or vacant property, 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 is important. It can protect your assets when worst case scenarios happen.
To learn more about vacant or unoccupied property insurance and other ALIGNED products and services that can protect your bottom line, contact an ALIGNED Insurance Advocate today.
We Know ALIGNMENT Matters. Get More Than Vacant Property Covered With ALIGNED.
A few other liability coverages that you may want to consider for your business:
Want to learn more about where can I get insurance for my vacant property in Canada? Our experienced commercial insurance brokers are here to help you to determine the types of coverage you need most.
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