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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

February 11, 2013
Empty Homes Need Insurance, Too

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Learn how to ensure your unoccupied home is covered against mishaps.


There are many reasons you might leave your home unoccupied: Maybe you had to move out-of-state and your old house wouldn't sell; or you can't afford the mortgage and are working out a short sale.

Regardless, until your name is off the deed, you are responsible for any mishaps, so you need to purchase a little-known insurance policy called "a vacant home policy." Likewise, if you rent the property, you need to be covered by a separate landlord's policy for the structure itself, even if your tenants have renter's insurance. Review your current homeowner's policy for language regarding unoccupied homes. Not every company offers vacant home insurance, so do your homework well before any deadlines. A good insurance agent can help you find coverage.

Bottom line: If you still own the house, you need to be insured.

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