What is a Vacancy Provision in a Homeowner's Insurance Policy?

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
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Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

If your policy includes a vacancy provision you may be barred from recovering if your structure has been vacant or unoccupied for more than a certain period specified in your policy. Typically, this period is more than approximately 30-60 days of vacancy prior to the date of loss but can vary.  Depending on how your policy is written this may be found in various separate provisions and may only apply to certain perils.

For example, a vacancy provision could only bar recovery from damage to an unoccupied premise if the structural loss was created by vandalism or malicious mischief. Vandalism is typically defined as malicious destruction or damage of your property. Depending on how your policy is written, this may include coverage from arson, but it ultimately comes down to the contractual language. Another term which meaning is contingent upon how your policy is written, is what would be considered a vacant or unoccupied property. For example, some insurance policies will consider a property vacant if no business or occupants are using the property, while other policies consider the property occupied if on-going construction is in process. Circumstantial evidence can help you dispute claims of vacancy that your insurer may make.

An experience insurance claims attorney can help you dispute denied claims and help avoid being taken advantage of by the insured.

You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at[email protected].

Sources:

Botee v. Southern Fidelity Ins. Co., 162 So.3d 183 (5th DCA 2015)

Sunrise Sports Cars, Inc. v. Britamco Underwriters, Inc., 782 So,2d 10009 (4th DCA 2001)

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