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All home insurance policies are not created equally. It is very important to carry the correct policy. Otherwise, coverage could be limited or excluded. The following variables will impact the type of policy needed:

  • Is the home Vacant?
  • Do you live in a house or condo?
  • Is the home a short-term rental, long-term rental, or are you home-sharing?

Homeowners Insurance vs. Condo Insurance

It is typically clear whether a homeowners insurance or condo insurance is needed, however, sometimes it is not so clear. For example, sometimes townhomes are covered with homeowners insurance. Or single-family residences are covered with condo insurance. The determining factor is whether there is a homeowners association, and that homeowners association’s master insurance policy covers the homes/buildings. If that is the case, then a condo insurance policy is needed. Otherwise, a homeowners insurance policy is needed. 

Landlord Insurance

When a home is rented, it is essentially a business and therefore requires special coverage that can only be found under a landlord insurance policy. Some examples of types of special coverage required include: 

  • Coverage for lost rental income after a covered loss renders the rental uninhabitable.
  • Liability if a tenant or their guests are injured.

 These coverages typically are not found under a homeowners insurance policy. There are different varieties of landlord insurance policies. Some are designed for long-term rentals, some are designed for short-term rentals, and some are designed for home sharing, where the homeowner rents out a portion of their home. Keep in mind that landlord insurance policies often include only minimal personal property coverage since most rentals are not furnished. Coverage can be added as necessary.

Vacant Home Insurance

Insurance policies contain coverage exclusions for homes that are vacant for extended periods. Common exclusions are for frozen pipes, theft, vandalism, and arson since there is an increased risk when homes are vacant. The definition of a vacancy can vary. Many insurance companies only consider homes without furnishings to be vacant. Exclusions may also apply when a home without residents is under construction. Insurance companies do understand that all homes are vacant for short periods. For example, homes will be vacant between owners, and rental homes will be vacant between renters. Home insurance policies will therefore allow for vacancies for a specified period, usually between 30 and 90 days, before the exclusions take effect. It is important to review your policy for the definition of vacancy and the period before vacancy exclusions take effect. If exclusions are a concern, vacant home insurance policies are available. These policies are more expensive, but they typically remove the vacancy exclusions.

Looking for Home Insurance in Greater Seattle? Contact Chris Elliott Insurance Agency!

Our Seattle insurance agency takes the time to determine which type of home insurance is appropriate for your situation, and we often find that a change is needed to ensure coverage is proper. Fortunately, this change rarely results in a large premium increase, and sometimes can even decrease the premium.  Contact our team about obtaining proper coverage for your home today!

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