How to get insurance if you are away often?

swampwizFebruary 15, 2010

I have a lifestyle that entails long trips away, for work or pleasure. I will be buying a very inexpensive house to serve as a home base, and in trying to secure homeowner's insurance, I am asked if the home will "unoccupied". When I say that I will probably be gone for up to 6 months at a time, I am told that the home would be considered "unoccupied", and therefore I cannot get insurance.

Any ideas about this? I have had a few carriers not ask me this question about being "unoccupied", and have not had a problem. Of course, there is always a clause in the contract that states the home shall not be "unoccupied", but for my previous carrier, merely having my stuff inside would suffice for being occupied, even if I did not actually sleep there for extended periods of time.

Certainly, there must be folks who go for jobs overseas or on assignment in the USA who keep their property, but still retain insurance.

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If you lie on your insurance application, it is a perfect excuse for the company to cancel your policy - or worse yet - let you pay month after month and then deny the claim.

It is your responsibility to get insurance that will cover an unoccupied home. Playing the "well, they didn't ask" game isn't going to help you or make you more safe. There are some companies that will insure vacant homes, but they are going to charge you much more money to do it.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 1:50PM
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Why do you really want to buy if you plan to be gone for extended periods of time. Who will take care of the place, yard, check to make sure no one has broken in, living there etc How about the monthly bills, storm damage, water damage etc. People will know you are not home, garbage blows into the yard, free papers tossed in the yard. This is not fair to your neighbors either. Most people do not want a empty house next to them either. If you are renting, at lease your landlord or agent will check things out.
Just a thought.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 4:45PM
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mariend - at one time I owned my own home, but was away at another home for long periods of time. I did live in a house that had no front yard, it was not apparent that I was not at home. I did enjoy owning my own home, I installed a slot for mail, there was no trash in my yard. This is also common for snow birds to own a second but be gone from one for long periods of time. Many people enjoy having the control over their own house, that one does not have when renting. Also, I saved or earned lots of money as the price of my house went up in value, I would have lost much in renting.
Also as a landlord, I would not want to rent to someone that expected me to check things out for my tenant..

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 5:15PM
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What about getting a roommate, someone that has the same kind of lifestyle. with some luck one would be home when the other isn't, thus satisfying the insurance company.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 7:06PM
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