Can You Insure A Vacant Home?

If you plan on leaving your home vacant for an extended period, vacant home insurance should be considered. Without someone living there to monitor things regularly, minor issues could go undetected and cause significant damage.

Vacant home policies can be purchased both individually or as an add-on to an existing homeowners insurance policy, and will typically cover the dwelling, personal property and liability exposures. Policies usually span three, six or year terms.

Buying a Vacant Home Policy

As you shop for vacant home insurance, keep these key considerations in mind: the length of time an insurer considers your house vacant; whether a separate policy or endorsement can cover it and the costs; personal property coverage such as lawn mowers or tools left in the house may also need to be addressed; some insurers such as Foremost or Vacant Express offer online searches that allow users to connect directly with agents who can give estimates; while State Farm and Farmers ask more detailed questions to provide quotes.

Home insurance policies typically exclude homes that aren’t occupied for periods of 30-60 days as standard policies don’t offer coverage unless an additional endorsement is purchased; some insurers such as Foremost and Vacant Express offer their own dedicated policies while others let you add temporary vacancy coverage via an endorsement on existing policies.

If the home will only be vacant temporarily, for example while on vacation or receiving medical care, your standard homeowners policy should provide sufficient protection – providing utilities are turned off and all furniture/items have been cleared out. But for longer stretches of unoccupied times it would be worth investigating vacant home policies to protect your investment and make sure everything stays protected.

Vacant home policies can be purchased for three, six and year-long periods online or through agents. Most have an upfront premium payment that’s due all at once; some insurers even refund any unused premiums should you decide to cancel before the end of your policy period. These policies can provide especially valuable protection for second homes or rental properties owned as investments.

Coverage Options

If you’re selling or vacateing your home, a vacant home policy can provide financial support for expenses like securing and making repairs to it. This policy can either be added as an endorsement to an existing homeowners policy or purchased separately – its cost and coverage vary between insurers; typically though they offer personal property coverage like lawnmowers or snowblowers as well as liability coverage in case someone gets hurt on your property.

Dependent upon your circumstances and length of unoccupied period, whether or not a vacant home policy is needed will depend on whether or not your circumstances warrant it. Properties currently up for sale, renovation projects underway or waiting to find tenants usually qualify as vacant; however a policy might also be beneficial if your job requires you to travel for work purposes or you’re hospitalized for extended periods.

Farmers and State Farm offer vacant home policies as an add-on to their homeowners and rental policies, although notice must be given if you plan to leave for longer than 30 days as this could void coverage. It’s wise to discuss your unique circumstances with an independent agent to see whether a vacant home policy makes sense.

A vacant home policy provides protection from named perils, liability and water damage. Policies can be purchased for set periods – three months, six months or up to one year; depending on your plans. For example, three-month policies could be useful if traveling extensively during that period; six or year-long policies might be more suitable if inheriting a property requires cleaning up before listing it on the market.

Based on your chosen coverage and length of vacant period, and depending on its expiration date, prorated refunds may apply if the property becomes occupied again prior to its end date. Adding a security system could help lower risks such as theft and damages while it remains vacant.


If you are planning to sell and move into another home while your previous one remains on the market or inherit an empty property, vacant home insurance should be top of mind. With comprehensive protection against burst pipes, vandalism, theft and more; as well as liability coverage should anyone become injured on the premises; vacant home policies provide peace of mind when investing.

Vacant home policies tend to be more expensive than standard homeowners policies due to the increased risks they present for insurers. While you should likely find one that fits your needs, it’s essential that you shop around carefully and pay close attention to coverage options, add-ons and discounts available in your state. You should also seek out providers offering standalone vacant home policies; they might be more willing to take on your business than those only offering vacant home endorsements on existing policies.

Note that your regular home insurance will likely discontinue when you move out; most providers only provide prorated refunds. Instead, to prevent any gaps in coverage during this transitional phase you should purchase a separate vacant home policy.

For your home to qualify as vacant, it must have been uninhabited for 30 to 60 days (depending on its policy) and completely unfurnished with most personal belongings removed. Unfortunately, vacant home policies typically do not extend coverage to homes undergoing renovation as these can more readily sustain damage during renovation processes.

Experienced insurance brokers are well equipped to advise on whether a vacant home policy would meet your specific needs, recommending policies which offer adequate protection for your investment and helping to mitigate risks such as having someone check on it regularly or renting it out until the time comes for you to return home.


Costs associated with vacant home insurance vary based on factors like location, type and length of time a property will remain vacant; however, it tends to be more costly due to insurers considering it higher risk; due to issues like burst pipes being undetected until too late and without someone living there performing maintenance or keeping an eye on things it’s more likely for damage to accumulate over time.

At the center of it all is your property being left empty for extended renovation projects or selling prior to moving into another one, and whether or not a vacant home policy would provide adequate coverage. When inquiring with home insurance providers about such policies and whether an endorsement or separate vacant home policy exists for you. Also be sure to compare premiums, coverage options and deductibles available before making your decision.

An insurance provider will offer quotes for vacant home policies by either calling them directly, visiting their website, and filling out an online form. When filling out this form you may be required to provide details on your property such as address and value as well as how long it is likely to remain vacant for. You may be required to sign a document stating you understand all risks involved with owning vacant homes as well as agree to their terms before receiving one.

Saving money on vacant home policies may be as easy as purchasing both at once. Also consider installing security features, like burglar alarms and deadbolt locks, to lower rates. Some insurers provide discounts when you combine both policies together; check with your provider for information. It should be noted that vacant or unoccupied home policies typically don’t cover natural disasters, like earthquakes or flooding.