Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Vacancy is one of those things that generally does not receive a lot of consideration until something happens. With the mortgage crisis, one hears about many vacant houses. There are also vacant lots that communities take over to grow gardens or establish as playgrounds for the local residents. 

While at first glance whether a property is vacant would seem to be obvious, it is unfortunately not nearly as easy to determine as one would hope. In homeowners’ and dwelling forms, damage to a property caused by vandalism or burglary is excluded if the property has been vacant for more than 60 consecutive days immediately before the loss. It bears mention that some older forms use 30 days, so be sure to check your specific policy language. 

Vacancy is not a defined term in the policy. Therefore, as per court practices, a standard desk reference is used to determine the meaning of the word. According to Merriam Webster Online, vacant is “when something is without content or occupant.” Note the fact that the property must be without content. A dwelling with furniture but no occupant is not considered vacant; it is unoccupied. This is a big difference. 

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free
PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader.


  • All PropertyCasualty360.com news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including BenefitsPRO.com and ThinkAdvisor.com.

Already have an account?



Join PropertyCasualty360

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed decisions for your P&C insurance business. Join PropertyCasualty360.com now!

  • Unlimited access to PropertyCasualty360.com - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including BenefitsPRO.com, ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
  • Exclusive discounts on PropertyCasualty360, National Underwriter, Claims and ALM events

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join PropertyCasualty360

Copyright © 2022 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.