Home owner's insurance during extended travel
Now that we are retired, my wife and I plan on doing extended trips. We are not willing to give up our house yet. A friend suggested that I call my insurance company to make sure there is no coverage problems if we leave the house empty for 3 to 5 months at a time. It turns out my friend was right. My insurance company considers a house "abandoned" if left empty for more than 60 days. They will cover the structure but not the contents. I've done research and the only solution I've found so far is to have our daughters spend a weekend at our house every 8 weeks. The insurance company said this will "reset the clock". Our daughters said they would gladly do it but both live 150 to 200 miles away and we hate imposing on their busy life.
Has anyone delt with this situation and how did you resolve it?
I have Nationwide Insurance. They do not consider an extended absence to be abandonment or vacancy. It is your primary residence. As long as you take reasonable steps to maintain the property during the time it is not occupied, there is no issue with coverage. Examples would be, shut off water and turn off water heater, stop mail and newspaper, have lawn regularly serviced, have neighbor or relative do periodic walk-throughs, notify police of your absence. Hope this helps.
Another solution would be to shop around for a new policy.
House insurance companies have tightened their requirements for people travelling for e tended times. It used to be that the house had to to checked weekly. The latest I found out is they now require a house check every three days. Shutting of the water is a great idea. Make sure that you drain the hot water tank and all the pipes. Turn the gas off to all appliances except the furnace. In winter use an automatic set back thermostat to change the temperature regularly to keep mould away. The temp should be 70F or 20C in the house. At night the temp can be lower during the day it should be higher.
I work for a large Illinois insurance company. No such rule for us on primary residence
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