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Old 08-26-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
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Home Insurance While Snowbirding

Just curious if anyone else has run into this - and if there are any solutions (other than changing insurance companies).

We use a premier insurance company in NJ that we love and do not want to change from. However, there is a stipulation that coverage may or may not apply in certain instances when the house is vacant for more than 60 consecutive days. We have a call in for clarification pending.

We just purchased our first Class A and want to spend a few months in Florida this winter but need to insure our coverage applies throughout the period we are gone. Has anyone else run into anything like this? Hopefully we are just reading into the policy too deeply and we will in fact be fully covered.

I know there are countless numbers of folks who spend half of the year away from their homes so there must be a solution. (Policy rider, exemption, etc.)
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
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We live in Canada so this may not help. With our insurance company, because it does freeze up here when we are gone asks us to shut the water off and drain the lines, no big deal. We then need to have someone come thru the house once a week to see if it's still there I guess and thats it. We do have a security system that notifies when a fire, intrution or sump pump alarm comes in, but that is not a requirement.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKC02 View Post
Just curious if anyone else has run into this - and if there are any solutions (other than changing insurance companies).

We use a premier insurance company in NJ that we love and do not want to change from. However, there is a stipulation that coverage may or may not apply in certain instances when the house is vacant for more than 60 consecutive days. We have a call in for clarification pending.

We just purchased our first Class A and want to spend a few months in Florida this winter but need to insure our coverage applies throughout the period we are gone. Has anyone else run into anything like this? Hopefully we are just reading into the policy too deeply and we will in fact be fully covered.

I know there are countless numbers of folks who spend half of the year away from their homes so there must be a solution. (Policy rider, exemption, etc.)
It is a vacancy clause that is located in your policy. Not at all unusual, as it can be located in the general H.O. policy. Yes, they can and probably will delete certain coverages while the dwelling is vacant for a specified period, as stated in the policy. You "can" get a vacancy endorsement added to your policy. BUT, it will probably be expensive. Better to pay for the added coverage, than suffer a major loss while away and have no policy coverage! The vacancy issue can be overcome, by having a human being stay in the residence for at least one night, during the specified vacancy period. This is stated as a "opinion" and absent of legal qualifications. Contact your agent and tell them what you plan to do. They will have a solution. Every problem can generally be solved, if your wallet is deep enough!
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:43 PM   #4
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This is a hugely important topic as every insurance company has its own way of doing this. Lots of policies require 72 hr inspections of the house, others 48 hours.
These apply to short term absence.
Now go for long periods and everything changes and a lot of brokers can't even get it straight.
My father in-law is gone 6 months at time, he was away last year and between inspections of his house he had a flood (sewer) that would have been covered by his insurance. When he reported it he was informed that he was required to purchase an absentee owner rider. The kicker to this is it also requires a home check every 24 hours as well. $19,000.00 later he is all fixed up and a new insurance company as well.
Make sure you get all the info you can about this issue and don't stop pushing for it in writing for your own protection.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:03 PM   #5
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Insurance Company Came Through

Finally got the answer that we will be fully covered while away without any time limits or additional riders, etc. The fine line is the insurance companies interpretation of your absence - my company considers 'snowbirding' as common so long as it is a pure travel and return situation. They did question whether we would be getting a driver's license in the other state, changing mailing address, etc., so I can see that their concern is the maintenance of the house as the primary residence.
Seeing some of the other stories about this subject I guess we are lucky to have the insurance company that we do.
Best of luck to all out there.
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