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Wetzel Insurance Agency Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Homeowner Insurance: Vacancy and Occupancy


There are different reasons why homeowners purchase a home. Sometimes they might want to raise a family; other times they purchase the home planning to rent it out to others or use it as a vacation home. Whatever reason it may be, make sure that you have the homeowner insurance policy for the correct occupancy. In many cases your claim won’t be covered if you have the wrong policy based on the occupancy of your home. This creates a new risk for your home, so make sure that if the occupancy of your home changes, your homeowner insurance policy changes accordingly.


Long-term Vacation or Trip

Many homeowner insurance policies are for homeowners who plan to occupy the home. There might be times where you are away from your home for more than 60 days. What if this occurs and your home get vandalized or robbed? Be careful when you are going to be out of your home for long periods of time like this. Depending on what is inside of the home, you may not be able to receive compensation for damages done or stolen items. If the insured homeowners have items like appliances (a microwave and mini refrigerator) and some furniture such as a couch and bed, then the home would be considered unoccupied rather than vacant. A home being “unoccupied” would mean that the homeowners are only away for a period of time and plan to come back. In the case of having these items inside of the home, your home should be covered under your homeowner insurance policy. If there were only a few furniture items like a couch, chair, and a few books, you would likely not be covered since these items are not necessities. These types of items would make it seem like the home was abandoned. In this situation, it would be a good idea to change your homeowner insurance policy to one that would cover a vacant home rather than one that is occupied.


Houses Under Construction and Remodeling

When a house is under construction, it is not considered to be vacant. Construction is defined as building a brand new home from the ground up. Any theft or vandalism occurring during this time is covered under your homeowner insurance policy. However, there is confusion among homeowners when it comes to remodeling or renovating the property. They assume that since the house in under renovation that the house is covered like construction, but the two are very different when it comes to homeowner insurance coverage. Since the house is not being built from the ground up, there is different coverage. Whether or not the house is being occupied by its owners, a home that is under remodeling is not covered the same way that a home under construction is.


Some Things to Remember:

  • Make sure to notify your homeowner insurance provider if the occupancy of your home is going to change.
  • Look at the items in your home. Ask yourself if there are enough items in it to be habitable. If not, the property might be assumed to be abandoned.
  • If your property is not being built from the ground up and is undergoing renovations, it will not be considered occupied.


The best thing to do in these situations is to simply contact your homeowner insurance agent to make sure you are covered. If you have any questions regarding the occupancy of your home, give us a call!