Author Topic: Insurance on a vacant house needing work  (Read 1359 times)

Frankies Girl

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Insurance on a vacant house needing work
« on: July 09, 2013, 12:25:04 PM »
So my dad's house that my sister and inherited equally is now transferred to our names, and I put in the calls to get quotes on insurance. I did tell them it is a vacant house and is being renovated, as that does carry a different liability/coverage than a typical homeowners' policy. (sister lives about an hour away, and is supposed to be lining up the work crews, as I'm out of state)

We went with a renter's policy on the advise of the insurance guy. He said since it's vacant, and we're fixing it up, that all we need coverage for is the property structure itself, (no personal property inside) with coverage extending to anyone hurt on our property and malicious mischief/vandalism. Okey dokey, sounds good.

They apparently went out to see the house itself, and are now telling us that they won't be able to start the policy until we get the outside back door replaced. It's in bad condition and we had to remove the doorknob (door itself is badly splintered at the bottom and the locking mechanism is still in place, but it definitely wouldn't hold out someone wanting to break in - but you could say the same of just about any door. There would be some noise and effort involved, and once they got in the garage, they'd be dealing with a steel door to the actual house). They also mentioned the wood garage surround is in bad shape (this is purely cosmetic - they said it needs painting, but we're planning on replacing) and that there are no gutters - not making the house uninsurable like the door being messed up, but they are "concerned" (we know about all of that and have a contractor taking care of all of this).

The contractor said the door was an odd sizing so it's a special order (checking with my sis today about where the hell we are on that) but wanted to see if this was typical if you buy a run down house to fix up - that they won't insure it at all until certain things are completed? Cause that seems to me a bit odd that you'd be working on a house either by yourself or hiring peeps to come in and work on it if you don't have some sort of insurance. If they wanted to charge us more to get it covered sooner with the rate going down once the exterior is more secure, I'd get it, but that wasn't offered. I've seen some real slummy houses with broken windows and NO doors and such that I guess the flippers just go without insurance on?

We will be using licensed contractors that should have their own insurance to cover them in case of injury I would think, but wanted to see if this was standard...

The house itself isn't bad looking from the outside. New siding, roof and windows and just installed a new metal garage door last month, and just had all of the overgrown trees and bushes removed and even ground down the stumps - lawn service keeping it looking nice and tidy, and slowly getting the other things taken care of. The neighborhood is extremely safe and there are next door neighbors keeping a close eye on it (and they have keys as well).