Vacant Property Insurance | If there is anything better than owning a home, it would have to be owning two homes. Florida has many dual homeowners, lots of whom are “snowbirds” who live in the Sunshine State during the fall and winter, then migrate back to cooler northern climates in the spring and summer. For them, vacant property insurance in Florida a necessity.
While snowbirds get a chance to enjoy the best of all seasons, they also have to take care of two homes. They have the responsibility to keep each property to be safe and secure while they are absent, and ready to be occupied when they return for the next season. The best way to juggle the responsibilities of both homes is by having a checklist to follow for closing each home before travel.
Here is a home checklist to help snowbirds as they migrate to their next seasonal location.
Perform Any Routine Maintenance
There is nothing quite as frustrating as arriving in your snowbird nest only to discover that something is broken or inoperative. Prevent that hassle by making sure nuisance items are repaired or cared for before leaving the home. This may include:
- Replacing blown light bulbs
- Replacing HVAC filters
- Cleaning out gutters and downspouts
- Touchup painting
- Landscape maintenance
- HVAC inspection/routine maintenance
- Gas system inspection/routine maintenance
- Chimney inspection and cleaning
Related Post: Maintaining Your Rental Property
Protect Against Pests
Insects and animals love uninhabited homes to hide in. To prevent returning home after a long absence to find new, unwelcome tenants, follow these recommendations:
- Clean the house thoroughly before leaving
- Empty and haul away all trash
- Remove any remaining food from the home
- Clean, defrost and unplug the refrigerator and freezer, leaving both open to dry and prevent mold
- Clean the oven and outdoor grill facilities
- Close the flue on your fireplace and install a screen guard
- Ensure doors and windows close and seal tightly
- Have regular, professional pest treatments
Prevent Flooding Accidents
While you may not be able to prevent area or weather-related flooding, you can prevent creating your own flood that damages your home while you are away. Before leaving, perform the following plumbing steps:
- Drain all pipes and the hot water heater/tank
- Turn off water heater
- Close the valves to sinks and toilets
- Service and close any pools or hot tubs
- Close all outdoor drains and remove hoses for proper storage
Provide an Appearance of Occupancy
Homes that appear empty are prime targets for thieves. Here are a few ways you can make your home appear occupied even while you are away:
- Leave on some interior lights or place interior/exterior lights on a timer to mimic regular home use
- Stop mail and newspaper delivery to avoid items piling up
- Schedule regular lawn maintenance as necessary
- Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to check and remove any unexpected packages or items
Related Post: How to Protect Your Vacant Rental Property When You’re Away
Protect Your Property
With vacant properties at a higher risk for suffering theft or damage from intruders, make sure to take the following measures to protect your home away from home:
- Invest in and maintain a monitored home security system
- Install exterior motion-sensor lighting
- Lock all windows and doors, and close drapes to block easy viewing from outside
- Replace all batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Provide the correct type of homeowners or vacant property insurance in Florida for vacant or seasonally-occupied homes.
At American Integrity Insurance, we provide information about the various types of homeowners or vacant property insurance in Florida that are available, and we can help you select the best option to protect your investment. Call an American Integrity Insurance Agent for more information today.
American Integrity Insurance is committed to providing Florida homeowners with sound, comprehensive insurance coverage and an extraordinary customer experience. We strive to be a valued partner to our policyholders, agents, and community.
We offer traditional and high valued homeowners insurance, condo insurance, renters insurance, and the special coverage required for vacant homes, manufactured homes, and policies designed for those who need less coverage or are renting out their home. We also offer extra protection, including flood insurance, umbrella insurance, golf cart insurance, boat insurance, cyber coverage and identity theft protection as well as equipment breakdown coverage, to help address a broad range of needs facing Florida homeowners today.