If you are planning on going on a trip for several months and will be leaving your home empty during this time, you should notify your insurance company. An unoccupied home can present risks for the home, and insurance companies need to know this. Here are several things to understand about this.
Insurance is based on risk
All types of insurance policies are based on risk levels. People with higher risks will therefore pay more money for insurance than people with lower risks, and this is one of the reasons you will need to let your insurance company know that you will be leaving.
When you leave, your home will be vacant. This means that no one will be living there, and no one will be there all the time monitoring the home. Because of this, the insurance company will view your vacant home as a risk.
Why this is a risk
Vacant homes are always considered risks to insurance companies, and this is primarily because vacant homes are targets for problems. Burglars, for example, could break in your home a lot easier if there is no one there for months. A fire that begins in the home might not be detected as quickly if no one is home. In addition, a water pipe could burst in the home causing water damage throughout. All these things can lead to claims on the home insurance policy, and every claim costs the insurance company money.
What you should do
If you are going away for only a couple weeks, you really will not have to do anything related to your insurance. If your trip will be for 30 days or longer, contact your home insurance company. Insurance companies typically want to know in advance when a home will be empty for 30 to 60 days. All insurance companies have different rules about this, but most will want to add an endorsement to a policy if the home will be empty for the length of time the insurance company uses for this purpose.
An endorsement will raise the price of your home insurance during the period of time you will be gone, but it is a temporary raise in price. Once you get back home, you can get rid of the endorsement on the policy.
If you are planning to go away for an extended period of time, contact your home insurance agent to find out what you should do.