Malvern, PA, September 26, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- VacantHomeInsuranceNow.com (VHIN), a website that offers advice and insurance solutions for vacant home insurance in the United States and internationally, is reporting that over 95% of those making inquiries about vacant homeowners insurance, either through the web or by telephone, did not understand they needed special coverage on their home because it was left vacant. The statistics, based on email and telephone conversations VHIN engaged in with those making inbound inquiries, shows that their existing homeowners insurance company did not clearly communicate with the insured about what can happen to their homeowners coverage if the home becomes empty or unoccupied. 95% of all people making inbound inquiries found out accidentally, through internet searches and advice from peers, that their home may no longer be covered through their existing homeowners insurance policy.
Vacant home insurance is a special type of homeowners insurance that needs to be placed on a home that will be vacant or unoccupied for over 60 to 90 days. Insurance policies can vary by state and by insurer with existing coverage being lost after just 30 days of vacancy in a worst case scenario. As evidenced by VHIN's analytical study of inquiries vs. direct knowledge of vacant home insurance, the issue exists where no one in the United States knows about the need for insurance in a vacant home situation. It is estimated that there are more than 18 million homes in the United States (according to a recent Bloomberg Press article) that were left vacant at the end of 2008. Of these 18 million homes, many may not have adequate insurance coverage due to the vacant home clause inherent in most homeowners insurance policies.
Why the major homeowners insurance companies neglect to remind existing clients that they cannot use their existing policy for a vacant home is unclear. Speculating on the reasoning the behind this brings up a monetary issue. In a tough economy it would mean the loss of clients and profits as almost all major homeowners insurers do not have a vacant home policy they can substitute and offer clients in this situation. Insurance agents may also suffer loss of commissions if they took initiative to remind homeowners about the almost inevitable loss of coverage in the situation of a vacant home.
"(Based on our observation) it is clear that if 95% or more homeowners don't understand these provisions, then the existing insurance companies and their agents are not adequately communicating this issue clearly to their customers," says Matthew McKinley of VHIN.
Until insurance companies begin to make the vacant home issue more visible to their insured, it is recommended that anyone facing an upcoming vacant home situation or currently in possession of a vacant home contact their homeowners insurance company to see if coverage still exists on the unoccupied home. If a homeowner has a home that is not occupied, they should inform their insurer and find out if coverage can remain in effect and for how long.