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Vacant Buildings

Our Vacant Buildings Program provides the necessary insurance coverage until the building is rented or sold.

The Vacant Buildings Program includes a Property and General Liability component with a focus on single, multi-family, and commercial structures, including retail and office buildings. It is geared toward builders with homes in inventory that are intended for sale, or individual owners or investors.

  • Special coverage form designed for residential and commercial properties during periods of vacancy
  • Limits up to $5 million
  • Competitive pricing and commission
  • A.M. Best – A rated carrier (non-admitted)
  • Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost coverage available
  • Fast turnaround and electronic processing
  • 3-, 6- and 12-month terms available
  • No volume commitment
  • Responsive claims service and expert claims management
  • General Liability coverage available

  • Vacant, single-family dwellings and multi-family structures
  • Vacant commercial structures including retail, office buildings, wholesale and light-service industries
  • Less than 30% occupied (single family homes need to be 100% vacant)
  • Up to 10 residential units

Subject to policy coverage and wording.

  • Direct Physical Loss of or damage to Covered Property, unless excluded or limited
  • Debris Removal – subject to policy provisions
  • Fire Department Service Charge – Up to $1,000
  • Pollutant Clean-up and Removal – Up to $10,000
  • Coverage for Loss to the Undamaged Portion of a Building – subject to policy provisions
  • Limited Fungus, Wet Rot, Dry Rot, and Bacteria – Up to $15,000
  • Water Damage, other liquids, powder or molten material damage – subject to policy provisions
  • Glass – subject to policy provisions
  • Theft and Vandalism – subject to policy provisions

The coverage information outlined here is a guideline only. Please refer to the actual policies for full terms, conditions, exclusions, and limitations. In the event of a conflict between this document and the actual policies, the policies will control.

Insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of AIG

Vacant buildings, perhaps on the market to sell or lease, come with their own unique property exposures and pose a higher risk in some key areas than occupied properties. A vacant building can attract thieves that may cause property damage and squatters who may use the abandoned property for unsavory activities.

Vandalism is another big exposure and is likely to cause widespread damage when no one is around to spot and stop the vandal and report the incident.

When a property is vacant, there is often no one maintaining the property and no one around to identify abnormalities such as utilities complications, broken or leaky pipes, gas leaks, and other problems. In turn, these complications can escalate quickly and without the property owner’s knowledge they could end up with costly fixes or even complete losses.

In addition, while there may not be individuals traipsing in and out of the vacant building on a daily basis, anyone who happens to wander into or around the vacant property and becomes injured can still sue the property owner, leaving him/her financially exposed to costly liabilities.

In fact, the most common losses for vacant properties include break-ins, vandalism, fire and liability claims.

Following are claims examples involving vacant residential and commercial risks:

  • Vandals broke into a home that was recently vacated and caused $25,000 in building damage.
  • Trespassers broke into an insured’s vacant building during a storm and started a fire to keep warm. The fire grew out of control and resulted in a $250,000 loss.
  • Thieves recently stole $500,000 of copper from a vacant building with resulting building damage estimates exceeding $3 million.
  • A piece of metal roofing material fell from a vacant building and injured a person that was walking below. The claimant sustained serious back and neck injuries, and was unable to work, and sued the property owner for $200,000 in medical expenses and lost wages.

Having the Right Coverage

It’s important for an insured to not only understand what types of exposures come with vacant buildings, but also to understand what constitutes a vacant building for insurance purposes. For standard commercial property policies, depending on how the policy is written, a building is considered vacant if it is 30% unoccupied. Typically these policies will remove coverage for vandalism, sprinkler leakage, water damage, theft, or attempted theft when a building is vacant for more than 60 days.

This is why Vacant Building insurance is required. Vacant Building Property insurance will provide coverage for direct physical loss, including fire, theft, vandalism and water damage, among other coverages. A typical property policy will require the insured to take precautionary measures to mitigate loss including maintaining the following safeguards:

  • Automatic sprinkler system
  • Automatic fire alarm connected to a central station or reporting to a public or private fire alarm
  • Security service that inspects the premises, at minimum once daily, and maintains permanent records of these inspections
  • Heat must be maintained at the premises and monitored once daily at minimum

Vacant Building Liability insurance covers third-party bodily injury and property damage liability risks. It’s recommended that along with General Liability insurance on the vacant property that a Commercial Umbrella policy is also purchased to respond in the event of a catastrophic liability loss. 



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