The best answer is probably.

First, one must understand that the term “vacant” has a different meaning to an insurer than an “unoccupied home”.  Here’s why.  While the terms are similar, they are vastly different in the world of insurance coverage.  The National Association of Insurance Commissioners warns if no one lives in your home for 60 or more days, your home may be considered either “Vacant” or “Unoccupied”.  A vacant home is at greater risk of wind, water, fire damage or vandalism and as a result the cost for insurance coverage is greater. A vacant home has little or no personal belongings or personal property stored in the home.  An unoccupied home usually contains personal furnishings and personal property and has someone frequently visiting the property.  Each homeowner should check with their homeowner insurance company for the correct terms of coverage.

Insurers have different regulations and standards about how long a home can be unoccupied before the insurance is cancelled or an endorsement is required. Homeowners that are leaving town for an extended trip, vacation, medical emergency or other reason will need to ensure they have the proper insurance coverage.  Some insurers will require a special endorsement or even a separate policy to cover a vacant home.  Most insurers will permit coverage for an unoccupied home by permit or policy endorsement.  If you are a seasonal homeowner your insurer may offer seasonal and vacation home coverage as well as coverage for your permanent residence.  Homeowners should ask their providers for a package of coverage(s) for both properties. Do you know what your policy requirements are?

Wind, water and fire damage are the three primary reasons a homeowner file an insurance claim.  Florida is susceptible to both tornados and hurricanes; water damage is a constant danger that can destroy your home and fire damage can be minimized by monitoring the electrical panel in your home.

Here are the top reason’s homeowner claims are denied:

1) Insufficient documentation of damage

2) Not filing within the prescribed time

3) Nonpayment of premium

4) Exclusion clauses

5) Not taking preventative measures to mitigate further damage

Regardless of whether your home is considered vacant or unoccupied you have the responsibility of minimizing damage if something happens while you are away.  A professional home watch provider, such as Carefree Home Watch, assists the homeowner by performing a visual observation looking for obvious issues, either weekly, or bi-weekly.  An unoccupied home is a vulnerable home and seasonal homeowners need a Home Watch Professional with knowledge of potentially damaging situations and one that knows how to recognize damage in the early stages before it becomes a disaster.  Things can, will and do happen.  It’s not a matter of if it may be a matter of when. 

Carefree offers regularly scheduled visits with digital report documentation that may identify problems in the early stages which permits you to take preventative measures to mitigate further damages.  The reports can be very helpful if and when you have to file an insurance claim.

Visit our website at, or call us at 239.234.1847for a free in-home consultation.

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