Condo insurance policies typically provide a host of projections for the condominiums they insure, but those protections are sometimes confined by a policy’s terms and conditions. With some policies, many of the coverages provided are only in effect so long as the unit is occupied. If you own a condominium in Vermont that’s unoccupied for any substantial amount of time, make sure your condominium insurance policy will continue to cover your unit.
Is My Vermont Condominium Covered by My Condo Insurance Policy When I’m Gone?
Risk Increases When Condominiums Remain Unoccupied
While disasters can (and do) occur at any time, the chances of a claim-worthy incident occurring increase when a condominium remains unoccupied for an extended amount of time.
To see how the risk of an incident increases when a unit is unoccupied, consider a minor water leak that’s covered by a condo insurance policy’s drain and sewer backup coverage. This coverage normally protects against plumbing leaks and similar issues (although exact protections can vary).
If you’re home when the leak begins, you’ll likely notice it fairly quickly and be able to address the issue. Any damage that occurs will probably be minimal as long as you stop the leak quickly. Even if you’re at work when the seeping beings, the damage incurred should be manageable.
Should you be away for days, weeks or months, the damage caused by even a small leak may be much greater. In addition to more water damage in your unit, there may also be mold and mildew growth, wood rot, electrical issues, and damage in units that are adjacent or directly below yours.
A similar logic can be extended to many other perils. For instance, burglars are often more likely to target unoccupied properties, fires might cause more damage in an unoccupied unit, and broken glass can leave a unite exposed to the elements (which sometimes are severe in Vermont) for a long time.
Condo Insurance Policies Limit Coverage for Unoccupied Units
Because both the likelihood of and potential cost of a claim tend to increase when a unit is unoccupied, many condominium insurance policies’ standard protections limit how long you can be away from your unit. The limit is often from 30 to 60 days, but it can differ. Whatever limit your specific condominium insurance policy has, exceeding it could compromise coverage.
If you’re unsure whether your condominium insurance policy comes with an occupancy requirement, ask a knowledgeable insurance agent to review your policy with you. An experienced agent will know where to check for requirements like these.
(Within the insurance industry, “unoccupied” normally isn’t synonymous with “vacant.” An unoccupied property is usually one where belongings are left and the owner intends to return to. A vacant property typically doesn’t have personal property in it, and it’s utility connections may be turned off.)
Adjust Your Condominium Insurance When Going Away
If your condominium will be empty while you go on vacation or return to a primary residence for the off-season, have an agent help you adjust your policy so that it’ll cover the unit while you’re gone. Depending on your policy and situation, an agent might recommend purchasing an endorsement, adding an optional coverage or looking for a different policy altogether.
Talk with a Vermont Insurance Agent
For help with any of these processes, from reviewing your current policy to shopping for a different one that has more robust coverage, contact Paige & Campbell Insurance. Our independent agents have helped many seasonal Vermont residents make sure their condominiums were protected during the offseason, and we can also help adjust coverages for lengthy vacations. Whatever your condo insurance needs are, our team is here to make sure your unit is well protected.