• Insurance Carrier: Not applicable
  • State: FL

Consumer Complaint:

I recently took a job in a neighboring state and want to continue to pay my home payment but since I now work in a different state I want to know if it is possible to still insure my home while not living there.

Insurance Expert Answer:

Ever since the onslaught of hurricanes a few years ago caused property-casualty companies to incur $42 billion in homeowners losses in Florida alone, it's been hard to get homeowners in Florida, especially for property reasonably close to the water. A state sponsored company such as Citizens has taken up some of the slack, as insurance company of last resort.

In addition, unoccupied homes always pose greater risks for insurers. Why? When no one is living there a simple problem, such as a minor leak, may turn into major one with the passage of time, and obviously vacant homes are for more likely to become attractive targets to be vandalized or folks looking to steal scrap metal, etc. Many companies avoid insuring unoccupied homes as they pose a far greater than average peril. Further, the language in many homeowners policies specifically exclude unoccupied homes from coverage. Now what constitutes \"unoccupied\" is specified in the policy language -- when you're a way for a week's vacation that's not unoccupied, but your situation sounds as if it would be, especially if you're not back regularly to check on and spend time in the premises.

When economic times turn down, like now, and housing prices fall, insurance companies fear some policyholders will torch their otherwise unsaleable homes and in essence, try to sell them to the insurance companies. Compounding your problem is that once there is a break in coverage, new companies are reluctant to issue new coverage. Given that you seem to have 3 strikes against you -- 1) a break in coverage, 2) Florida and 3) unoccupied home -- I suggest you speak to a local independent insurance agent near the home and discuss the situation. The solution is unlikely to be ideal or cheap, but there should be some solution.