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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

August 27, 2012
Empty Homes Also Need Insurance

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Is your house sitting empty because it's for sale or in a foreclosure? Find out what to do if your standard homeowners policy doesn't cover you.


Suppose your house is sitting empty because you're selling it, you're in a foreclosure or you're doing a short sale. Did you know that you're still liable for losses or injuries related to theft, accident or vandalism – and that your standard homeowners insurance may not cover you? Before leaving your home unoccupied for a long time, check your current homeowner's policy for rules regarding vacant homes. If you know it'll be empty for more than the allowable time, ask your insurer or an independent broker about vacant home insurance.

Also, be aware that if you're renting out your home, you'll need landlord insurance. It costs about the same as homeowners insurance but is structured differently. And urge your tenants to get their own renters policy.

Bottom line: Leaving a home doesn't mean leaving behind the liabilities.

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