Can you buy home insurance for a home you do not live in?
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UPDATED: Mar 10, 2021
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You can buy home insurance for a home you do not live in. Most often this is the case for a rental property, vacation home, a house you are flipping, or a house you have moved out of but still own.
In this economy, many people cannot sell homes even though they may have moved out of the area and into a new one.
Vacant home insurance is available from companies like Foremost Insurance and other home insurance providers, but you have to seek it out. You may also cover someone else’s home insurance costs like a parent or child, and yes this is perfectly legal.
Knowing what type of home insurance you need for the situations listed above, the legal requirements each, and what is and is not covered is detailed below.
Read the information, follow the Department of Insurance guidelines and compare several policies before you buy, and then proceed to check those rates annually with our online rate quote tool.
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Legal Requirements for Insurance Contracts
What are the homeowner’s insurance regulations if you don’t live in the house? If you are ordering a home insurance policy for someone else then both parties must sign the contract, including the one paying for the policy and the legal homeowner.
Bear in mind that most insurance companies have their own set of rules and have the right to deny coverage or add special stipulations to a contract.
In this case, of course, the person’s escrow will not be used to make the payments so you must be certain to meet those monthly deadlines.
Whenever there is ambiguity about a situation, the insurance company reserves the right to investigate the circumstances. So if you have homeowner’s insurance but the home is not in your name, will it be covered?
It may be illegal in some states (and the choice of many insurance companies) to insure a home in your name if it is the property of someone else. However, if the insurance policy is registered in the true owner’s name then you may be able to make payments on the contract.
You may also have to get a special “non-owner’s policy.” It must be made clear that you are not the legal owner of the property, or of the insurance policy.
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Second Home Insurance
If you own a small get-away cottage or a part-time residence of any sort it is especially imperative that you insure that property. Summer homes in areas with severe winter weather or in coastal areas are especially prone to perils covered by home insurance. Typically, your best bet is to get this coverage through your primary home insurance company as they will sometimes offer a rate discount for additional policies.
If the second home ever acts as a rental property then you have additional liability concerns and should discuss this with your insurer.
What About Rental Properties?
Another case in which this question might come up is in apartment, house, condo and mobile home rentals. After all, in certain markets, it may be more advantageous for some to rent homes than to sell homes. As a landlord, you do not have to insure the building for damages unless you have a mortgage on the building.
Frankly, it’s just irresponsible and foolish for any homeowner not to have insurance. You must have liability if someone else is going to live on your property or you open yourself up to legal and financial issues.
Many insurance providers specialize in insuring homes for landlords and this may be your best option.
As for renters, you may want to buy homeowners insurance on your own if you want protection. However, since you do not own the property you cannot take out an insurance policy on the building’s structure or exterior surfaces.
You can, however, order HO-4 Renter’s Insurance and insure your home’s interior property against the same type of perils listed in traditional homeowners insurance policies.
Are you looking for a homeowners insurance policy today? Then why not use our FREE home insurance rate quote tool to compare quotes and find a policy that’s right for you?