There may be times when you need to leave your home unoccupied for weeks at a time. If you don't plan ahead, this can affect your home insurance. You may find that even if you've been paying your home insurance premium every month, you won't be covered should something go wrong.
The Guideline: 30 Days (Give Or Take)
Most insurance companies will give you 30 days with an unoccupied home before they end coverage. Don't assume this to be the rule, though, as some insurers may only give you a couple of weeks, and others may offer 45 days. When in doubt, read your policy. Also, contact your Fulton Agency representative so that you know exactly what's expected of you as a homeowner.
If You Must Leave Home, Consider This
This is one of the reasons we have house-sitters. The problem with unoccupied homes is that, if something goes wrong, it may be weeks before anyone shows up to find out and manage the problem. With a house-sitter, this is no longer a concern. At the very least, having a friend or relative check in on the home regularly will be a big help.
If you cannot find someone to watch over your home, you may want to look into unoccupied home insurance. This will help to provide protection, even while you're away for weeks or even months at a time.
In any event, there are two steps that you always need to take when leaving your home unoccupied:
- Let your agent know you'll be away. This way, you can make your plans accordingly.
- Prepare your home to be unoccupied. Some call this "mothballing." Turn off water valves and electricity, lock up pet doors and other entrances and get your valuables out of sight. Ideally, you might have a safe where you can store valuables or a storage locker or a trusted friend who can hold onto them. But at least make sure that your valuables are not in plain view of windows.
You don't need to cancel your policy just because you'll be away for a month. But you do need to get in touch with your agent and figure out exactly what your options are.