Risk is always present when you own a condo, but it increases when the condo is left unoccupied for large portions of the year. To mitigate this, you have the opportunity to take out an unoccupied condo insurance policy on your property for extra protection. However, there are some requirements that need to be met in order for the condo to qualify as unoccupied. See what your responsibilities are as the owner of an unoccupied condo and what you can do to limit your risk with this guide from Muller Insurance.
Reasons for Leaving a Condo Unoccupied
While it might seem strange that you would have a condo left without anyone living in it for long stretches of time, there are plenty of scenarios where this is the case. If the condo serves as a vacation home, it will likely only be used during certain times of the year. A condo can also be considered unoccupied if you recently bought it but cannot move in for several weeks or are having it renovated.
Unexpected circumstances, like an extended stay at the hospital or trips for work, can also leave your condo without an occupant for long periods. Whenever a situation arises where you will be away from your condo for at least 30 days, consider taking out a policy to keep you protected.
The Difference Between Unoccupied and Vacant
Before you can take out an unoccupied condo insurance policy, your insurance company will first have to decide if it fits under the category of unoccupied or vacant. The key difference between the two is that an unoccupied home has utilities and furniture set up for people to live in it, while a vacant condo is empty of any personal belongings. This distinction will play a large role in determining the rates for your policy, as vacant homes are at a higher risk for damage because they receive slower response times and are likelier targets for theft.
Reducing Your Risk
While unoccupied condos are less risky than their vacant counterparts, there is still a much higher chance of damage or theft compared to a home with regular tenants. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to reduce your chance of risk and possibly lower your rates. Installing a fire alarm system will help alert authorities in case of a fire so they can respond quickly. Otherwise, the fire department is not as likely to be called in a timely manner because no one is living in the condo.
Likewise, a security system will help deter theft and hasten response times if there is an incident. It might also be helpful to arrange for a neighbor to check in on the condo every few days to make sure everything is in place. This will not only notify you of any issues quicker but may also prevent your condo from being classified as vacant and thus save you from higher rates.
Protect Your Assets
Following these measures will go a long way in keeping your assets protected, but there is no guarantee that they will prevent damage or theft. The only way that you can be sure you will be compensated for the loss of property is by taking out an unoccupied condo insurance policy. At Muller Insurance, our comprehensive condo insurance policies offer peace of mind, even when you’re not at home. If you are unsure if your condo qualifies as unoccupied or not, feel free to contact us to talk with a member of our qualified and experienced staff.