The risky side of vacant properties
From a 1st party property perspective, theft is a concern. Thieves will often loot for copper wiring as it’s a highly valuable scrap metal. Water-related issues from pipe breakage is another common property risk. With no one there to physically control the building’s temperature, pipes are at risk of freezing and breaking. Additionally, squatters and arson are among the biggest risks vacant properties face.
“Folks typically see vacant properties as an easy target,” says Mike Thabet, senior vice president, program management for Distinguished Programs.
Insuring vacant properties
Because vacant property carries a higher risk element to it than its occupied counterpart, it makes it that much more important to be protected.
Typical home insurance policies are not intended to insure vacant properties. “Eligibility for vacant home coverage is based on a variety of factors, including the state in which it’s located, the amount of coverage desired and the home’s risks,” Carly Kraft, a spokesperson for Farmers Insurance, said in a statement.
Nicole Knight, vacant buildings and builder’s risk program manager for Distinguished Programs, recommends a more comprehensive special property form versus a basic or broad form alternative. The former provides extra bells and whistles like theft coverage.
Even before considering insurance coverage, there are many ways to bolster the defense of a vacant property. With this in mind, here are five tips to secure your vacant property, according to guardhousesecurity.com.