About 2 weeks ago we received a call from a customer that is trying to negotiate a short-sale of her home in Las Vegas. The property has been vacant since late 2011. Sometime in the last few weeks, the home was vandalized with substantial damage done to the interior. The homeowner had left cans of paint in the house and the vandals opened them and dumped paint on the carpet in various rooms. They also smashed mirrors in the bathroom, pulled ceiling fans down and broke out light bulbs all over the house. The damage will cost around $8,000 to repair.
Vandalism is absolutely a covered cause-of-loss on a standard HO-3 homeowner policy. However, that coverage is conditional on the home being occupied at the time of the claim. Every homeowner policy (and most commercial property insurance policies) have verbiage commonly known as the “Vacancy Clause“. This verbiage eliminates coverage for vandalism after 30 days of vacancy, unless the home is under construction.
To overcome this huge potential coverage gap, we recommend you consider a policy specifically designed for vacant property. The rates are higher than a traditional homeowner insurance policy, but coverage for vandalism is included. If you have a vacant home in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas or Henderson, contact us today for a no-obligation quote on vacant property insurance.
For more information on how vacancy might affect your homeowners insurance coverage, please read our blog posting on The Vacancy Clause.