by Sheri Dettman, Resort Lifestyle Realtor
Many Palm Springs area home and condo buyers choose to live in their new property on a part-time basis. Others consider their desert purchase more of a vacation property and rent it out when not using it personally. Either way, you’ll want to make sure you discuss your property’s potential use and/or non-use with your insurance agent.
What’s Considered A Vacant Home?
Many insurers will consider a Palm Springs area home vacant if it is not occupied for extended periods of time. But what is considered a vacant home? I checked in with local agent Richard Cox of Cox Insurance to get the scoop on this subject.
“Insurers know that vacant homes have a much higher occurrence and possible severity of damage,” Richard said. “Most companies want the homeowner to be in the home every 30 days, but they will accept a visit from friend or even a hired property watch-type service.”
“There are many official and unofficial services of this type offered in our desert. Most carriers will accept this type of service. Many of these services will feed cats, walk dogs, flush toilets and even run sinks and water plants. Some will even send or email a ‘property check report’ to the homeowner at a very reasonable cost on a regular basis. These documented reports are perfect for showing insurance carriers that the property was not abandoned in the event of a claim.”
Short-Term Palm Springs Area Vacation Rentals Are Often Mis-Categorized
“Short term rentals are often the most mis-categorized property. Second homeowners really need to let their insurance agent know if they are renting their property for periods of less than six consecutive months. There is almost nothing worse than finding out there is a problem when you are filing a claim,” Richard said.
Local property watch services charge as little as $30 to $35 per visit to check a property and then send you a report. Rental management companies can also include this service in addition to booking rentals of your property.