Substance over image since 1926

Snow Birds & Gypsies 

If you leave your home unoccupied (furniture but no people) for 30 to 60 days or more (depending on your form of coverage) you probably have a coverage problem.  Language in all policies in New York acknowledge that unoccupancy or vacancy (no contents, no people) is more suceptable to damage... and more serious damage since no named insured is present to perform early damage control, and so this limitation is allowed by the insurance department, and the carriers use it. 

Some carriers simply won't take on this additional risk prescribed by the policy limitation.  They will reduce the policy FORM of coverage to one that excludes the kind of water damage (frosen pipes, etc. ) and vandalism are the subject of the limitation.  Others offer less comprehensive "Dwelling" (as opposed to broader Homeowner) forms of coverage which typically are something like 10% more expensive.  Our history of relationships with companies and underwriters helps you get the best result possible, but ignoring the problem...especially with OUR winter weather is a prescription for trouble. 

The limitation from one of the "standard" forms reads:

c. Caused by:

(1) Freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic fire protective sprinkler system or of a household appliance, or by discharge, leakage or overflow from within the system or appliance cause by freezing.  This provision does not apply if you have used reasonable care to:

       (a) Maintain heat in the building; or

       (b) Shut off the water supply and drain all systems and appliance of water. 

Further into the exclusion they deal with the vandalism peril:

(4) Vandalism and malicious mischief, and any ensuing loss caused by any intentional and wrongful act committed in the course of the vandalism or malicious mischief, if the dwelling has been vacant for more than 60 consecutive days immediately before the loss. 

The vacancy time period was extended from 30 to 60 days in this form, but then they added an exlcusion of "any ensuing loss caused in the course of vandalism in a vacant home."

A situation where a single occupant must leave the home for a skilled care facility brings on larger issues including liability concerns.  We can't deal with that here, but strongly suggest you call us for guidance.

In short, if you vacate you have SOME uncovered exposure.  You still have the other perils of the contract, but the limitation above may apply to a loss from water/ice damage and vandalism.

So-o-o-o-o-o you see, you need to check this out....before the loss please.  



Insurance SERVICE since 1926!!

653 Main Street, East Aurora, NY 652-1420

We do not write insurance contracts.  Nothing we say or write here can be deemed to change any insurance contract.  Our responsibility is to give insurance advice and to suggest a match for a risk with an insurance contract from a company who will accept that risk for a premium.  We are not attorneys who can give legal interpretation to the contract between insured and their insurers.  Information here is general in nature, for the widest audience