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Insurance tips - If your home is for sale, watch out for vacancy exclusions

Insurance tips - If your home is for sale, watch out for vacancy exclusions

With the housing market in the dumpster the past few years, this common problem has arisen. A couple buy a new home before their existing home sells. They move into the new house, leaving the old house empty. Three months later, vandals break into the old home, have a wild party and completely trash the place, causing $50,000 in damage, and the owner has no coverage.


Homeowners policies exclude glass breakage and vandalism damage if the house has been vacant, that is without enough furniture to be lived in, for 60 days or more. There are high-risk policies you can buy to cover a vacant house, but the coverage is watered down and the premiums are three to four times greater than what you've been paying for homeowners insurance.


The better way to keep your homeowners policy and still have vandalism coverage is by keeping enough furniture in the house so it can be lived in, such as a kitchen table, a couch and a lamp in the living room, and one bed.

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