FAQs

Vacant Dwellings
  • What does "vacant" mean?
    Vacant is defined as follows:
    • An unoccupied residential property that is not lived in, worked in or put to use for any other purpose
    • If the residential property is undergoing renovations or remodeling, it must be unoccupied with the exception of the owner or contractor temporarily on the premises for the sole purpose of renovations or remodeling
     
    Any part-time or seasonal usage of the property will preclude coverage.
  • What qualifies for coverage under the Vacant Dwellings Program?
    Eligible vacant dwellings include:
    • Dwellings that are 100% vacant and not undergoing renovations or remodeling of any kind
    • Dwellings with up to four residential units 
    • Dwellings with three residential units and one commercial unit
    • Dwellings with two residential units and two commercial units (for five units or more, see Vacant Commercial Buildings)
    • Fully skirted mobile homes that are anchored and/or on a permanent foundation
    • Individual condominium and townhouse units
    Dwellings that are NOT eligible include:
    • Dwellings constructed of logs
    • Dwellings constructed on stilts
    Buildings intended for demolition do not qualify for any of our insurance products.
  • What are the differences between a "vacant dwelling” policy and a "vacant dwelling undergoing renovations" policy?
    Our "vacant dwelling” policy is intended to provide coverage for an unoccupied residential property that will have no activity on the premises except to show to potential buyers or renters, or for routine maintenance.

    Our "vacant dwelling undergoing renovations” policy is intended to provide coverage for an unoccupied residential property, but allows for activities related to renovations or remodeling as well as showing to potential buyers or renters. The vacancy requirement (F135) attached to the policy suspends coverage if the insured fails to meet these requirements. 
  • Can you provide coverage for multiple locations under one policy?
    Yes, for multiple vacant dwellings located in the same state, we can provide coverage with just one policy.
  • Are there limitations based on the number of acres of the property?
    Residential properties that are five acres or less can be quoted with liability coverage included.  Properties larger than five acres may be quoted excluding liability coverage. 
  • Will you insure homes in the process of foreclosure?
    No, we are not a market for homes in the process of foreclosure.
Vacant Commercial Buildings
  • What does "vacant" mean?
    Vacant is defined as follows:
    • An unoccupied commercial property that is not lived in, worked in or put to use for any other purpose
    • If the commercial property is undergoing renovations or remodeling, it must be unoccupied with the exception of the owner or contractor temporarily on the premises for the sole purpose of renovations or remodeling
    • Commercial properties with multiple units must be 100% vacant to qualify for coverage
     
    Any part-time or seasonal usage of the property will preclude coverage.
  • What is considered a commercial building?
    A commercial building is any building that is used strictly for commercial purposes and does not meet the definition for a dwelling.
  • Are there limitations based on the number of acres of the property?
    Commercial properties that are 10 acres or less can be quoted with liability coverage included. Properties larger than 10 acres may be quoted excluding liability coverage.
Landlord Insurance Coverage & Policy Terms
  • What are the coverage forms offered?
    We offer ISO coverage forms as follows:
    • Basic Causes of Loss (CP 10 10)
    • Special Causes of Loss (CP 10 30)
    • Building and Personal Property  (CP 00 10)
    • Builders Risk (CP 00 20)
    • Condominium Unit Owners (CP 00 18)
    • General Liability (CG 00 01)
  • What property limits are available?
    Property coverage is available up to a $5 million limit of insurance.
  • Is general liability coverage offered?
    Yes, this coverage is available up to a $1 million limit of insurance for the following products:
    • Vacant dwellings, including those undergoing renovations or remodeling
    • Vacant commercial buildings (up to four units), including those undergoing renovations or remodeling
    • Landlord insurance (up to a $2 million aggregate available)
    • Brand new construction - coverage available as a monoline policy written under CG 00 01 and currently available in AL, AZ, AR, CO, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MN, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OK, SC, TN, TX, WA, and WY
  • Is vandalism coverage provided with the Basic Causes of Loss form?
    Yes, coverage for vandalism is provided. However, vandalism by a tenant is excluded on our Landlord Insurance policy.
  • Is theft coverage offered with the Special Causes of Loss form?
    Yes, theft coverage is offered with the Special Causes of Loss form for properties with an active central station fire and burglar alarm.  Additionally, the property must be located in protection classes 1 through 7, 1X through 5X, or 1Y through 5Y, and built less than 40 years ago with no prior losses.  Theft coverage does not include theft of metals.
  • What are the policy terms?
    Our standard policy term is 12-months. However, 3- and 6-month terms are available in most states.
  • What are the minimum retained premiums?
    Our minimum retained premiums (for the new business term only) are as follows:
    • 3-month policy: 100% or $100, which is greater.
    • 6-month policy: 50% or $100, which is greater.
    • 12-month policy: 25% or $100, whichever is greater
    These do not apply to admitted policies in Michigan, New York, Texas, or Washington.
     
  • Does coinsurance apply?
    • 80% coinsurance clause applies to building and personal property
    • 100% coinsurance applies to renovation values and brand new construction
    • If agreed amount is selected as the valuation type, the coinsurance clause does not apply to the building limit or personal property limit. However, we will not pay more for loss or damage to property than the proportion that the limit of insurance bears to the agreed value amount shown on the property declarations page.
  • How is the property valued?
    Property valuation is on an actual cash value basis.  Click here for a calculator many of our agents find helpful in determining the property’s actual cash value. 
     
    Replacement cost valuation (RCV) is also available in many states.  Click here to view availability.  Contact your underwriter for more information.
  • Do you provide coverage in windstorm-exposed areas?
    Yes, we do write coverage in windstorm areas.  This coverage is written on a non-admitted basis and is subject to increased rates and deductibles to contemplate the severe windstorm exposure.
  • Will you consider fire damaged properties?
    We will consider fire damaged properties provided that all damages are 100% repaired and the claim is closed.
  • Will you consider writing a Brand New Construction or Renovations policy if the current insurance company does not want to renew or extend the policy?
    Yes, these situations are eligible for coverage depending on the circumstances involved with the current carrier's unwillingness to renew or extend the policy.
  • Will you consider risks located in protection class 10 or 10W?
    Yes, our underwriting team will review risks located in these protection classes and will consider distance to a fire hydrant or fire department and access to paved roads.
Billing & Financial
  • Are premium installments available?
    Yes, we offer flexible payment options, as follows:
    • For a 12-month policy term, the first installment is 25% of the premium, plus applicable taxes, surcharges and fees.  The second, third and fourth installments will be 25% of the premium.
    • For a 6-month policy term, the first installment is 50% of the premium, plus applicable taxes, surcharges and fees.  The second installment will be 50% of the premium.
  • Is there a minimum policy premium?
    Yes, our minimum policy premium is $100.
  • How is billing set up?
    We are offer direct billing for new business and renewal business with convenient payment options – online, over the phone or by mail.
    • New Business: After an application is approved, the applicant will be billed immediately, which may be paid online, over the phone or by mail.
    • Renewals and subsequent premium payments: Will be direct billed, which may be paid online, over the phone or by mail.
  • What payment types are accepted?
    We accept credit/debit card and eCheck payments with the ability to pay online or over the phone.  We also accept checks by mail.
  • Is a surplus lines license required to place business with you?
    No, you are only required to be a licensed property & casualty agent in the state for which you are placing business. If you need to place non-admitted business with us, we hold surplus lines licenses in every state we offer coverage and we will act as your wholesale producer.
  • What is the financial strength of the companies issuing the policies?
    Admitted policies are issued by Diamond State Insurance Company® and non-admitted policies are issued by United National Insurance Company® or Penn-Star Insurance Company® (NC only). All companies are members of Global Indemnity and have a group rating of "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best, the leading rating agency for the insurance industry.