If you have the luxury of spending the summer in cooler climates (though not many places were cool this year) or wintering in sunny Florida, don’t take chances with the property you leave behind for half the year. If something goes wrong while you’re away and you don’t notice it for several months, your insurance could decline coverage.

In her article, “

Insuring a Vacant Home,” which appeared on the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog,  insurance expert Linda Rey shares the story of a man who left his home vacant for an extended period then returned to find a pipe had burst many months before. By the time he discovered it and called his insurance company, he was outside the time limit for making a claim.

There are many reasons properties sit vacant – divorce, taking a temporary job in another city, or even taking plenty of time to move aging parents into assisted living or other types of care. No matter the cause, Rey suggests you always call your insurance agent to let them know what’s happening and to determine whether a different type of coverage is needed.

Vacant homes are sometimes hard to insure. They are more susceptible to burglars and vandals, and no one is around to pay careful attention to things like leaking pipes or fallen limbs. As a result, the homeowner doesn’t always take care of things in a timely manner and prevent damage from getting worse. Rey describes the difficulty in writing a claim for a homeowner when he moved to another city and his for-sale home was vacant. Eventually, she found a company to provide property coverage, but they still wouldn’t provide liability coverage.

Often, when homes are left vacant for a period of time, there are many worries other than insurance weighing on the homeowner. But without the proper insurance, those worries have the potential to multiply. The peace of mind is worth taking a look at the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog for more information, don’t you think?

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