With the market conditions, unoccupied dwellings are becoming more common.
According the US Census Bureau, more than 18 million residences were vacant in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Unoccupied dwellings require a separate coverage, not part of a standard homeowners policy. This lack of coverage exposes owners to potential devastating loss.
If you have to leave your house vacant due relocation or even abandonment, you may be at risk. You can check the fine print in your policy but the best bet is to contact your carrier to determine your risk and your options. A number of carriers discontinue coverage after a property is unoccupied for over 30 days.
Some insurance carriers may grant a policyholder a vacancy permit if notified before the 30 day period expires. Such a permit may continue to provide coverage against fire and wind, but it may not provide coverage for theft, glass breakage, or water damage. If your carrier does provide coverage, it will probably be at a premium of 50-60% more. Alarm systems, type of locks, smoke detectors and winterization are items that may impact the cost.
A Condominium is less of an issue since the HOA has a policy that covers the structure.
If your home is listed with third party, you should have them visit the home periodically to prevent a large problem from becoming a serious issue.