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Mom has Alz, but is trying to be frugal and functional. She called her Insurnce company asking how to reduce her home insurance, and instead was quizzed about her whereabouts and told that vacant homes are often vandalized so the rates will go up. She has a lot of neighbors and family in the area so the home is frequently visited for maintenance. The house is probably safer than when she lived there and tried to maintain it. Mom is so upset by this that she says she is returning home.


She is much safer and around people at AL. With our brutal winters she would be isolated for months at home. We worked so hard to convince her to try AL. Are the statements and actions of this company typical?

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Yes, vacant homes cost more to insure. The risk of vandalism, break-ins etc is higher but so is the risk of damages that would normally be minor but become major because of vacancy. No one is there to discover small leaks in pipes, or smell melting wires that might cause a fire, or notice a roof leak right away or hear critters running about the attic etc. All things that are likely to be caught early if the home was lived in. If she rents the house out the insurance rate will also be higher.
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DancinDi Mar 5, 2019
Thank you. The house is not really unoccupied now as the work crews are still there updating it. Her return to the house will mess things up a bit. I am a snowbird for several months a year and never changed my insurance. This has been an education.
We will proceed to sell the house while Mom lives in it.
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You may find a monitored security system a good investment, particularly if you are in a city with a fully manned fire department. My security system was $250/yr for monitoring but it reduced home owners just over $1000/yr. They now have flood, freeze, and smoke alarms available so your security system can monitor for more than just break-ins. The insurance company cared less about someone living in the house than having a full time monitored security system and a manned fire department.
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Moms gone but I still have her house for sale. I stopped her insurance because of the cost of keeping it when the house is empty.
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Dancin, yes it is very common for home insurance carriers to raise the rates when the house is vacant.

It doesn't matter if family checks the house on a regular basis or neighbors have a key to go inside. Something like a broken water pipe may go unnoticed until someone goes into the house, and by then major damage have been done.
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