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What company will cover my personal property from vandalism in my

Question:

What company will cover my personal property from vandalism in my primary residence while I am away for extended periods of time (two to six months)?

Chuck, California

Answer:

Dear Chuck,

As long as your home is already insured, and you keep up with your insurance payments, your existing homeowners insurance policy will cover vandalism while you are away.

However, there are several steps that you can take to prevent your home from looking vacant. Someone should be picking up the mail, mowing the lawn, perhaps parking a car in the driveway — anything that makes it an unattractive target for vandals and vagrants. Even putting lights on a timer can go a long way toward making it look lived in. Additionally, the person checking on the house should give a quick peek inside regularly.

Finding new insurance for a home that is vacant is another story. Homeowners in that situation often have to opt for an insurance company that specializes in insuring vacant homes. These policies can be expensive and difficult to find. For more information, look at our story on how Vacant houses can be tough to insure.

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Disclaimer: We are journalists, not financial planners or insurance brokers. Nothing we say should be interpreted as a recommendation to buy or sell any insurance product, or to provide other financial or legal advice.

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