Three Steps to Protect Vacant Structures


The threat of vandalism, theft and other unforeseen events rises when structures are in a vacant status whether from tenant transition or during the sales process. As an insurance agent, one of the most critical roles you serve is advising clients about various ways they can mitigate their risk of property damage and loss.

While vacant structure policies are designed to provide financial protection, clients should not rely entirely on insurance coverage. After all, the main function of insurance is to provide financial protection in the event of a covered loss. However, it does not actively deter losses.

To offer the additional protection your clients need, following are three steps they can take to help guard vacant structures, heading off potential losses before they occur:

1. Physically secure the interior of the structure. Some of the most effective steps to reduce risk of loss are also the easiest. By locking doors and windows, turning off the main breaker box to decrease the risk of fire, and closing water lines are not only extremely effective in preventing damage, they are steps your clients can take in minutes with zero out-of-pocket cost.

2. Exterior steps can deter theft and vandalism. Installing mesh fencing is one easy way to make it harder for would-be criminals to access the structure while still allowing for visibility behind the fence line. Outside lighting, when appropriate for the building code ordinances and surrounding structures, can also be effective in deterring crime.

3. Frequent visits to the property are important. If your clients have unoccupied structure, encourage them to make a habit of visiting the property two to three times per week and at random times of the day. When vandals or thieves perceive that there is not a fixed schedule for when the owner or contractor visits the property, the structure becomes a less attractive target. Clients may also be able to arrange for periodic police patrols, which can further mitigate the risk of loss.

Construction clients insured by our builders risk policy can also deter criminal activity when they participate in the Builders Risk Reward Program. See our recent blog post, Deter Job Site Criminals with Reward Program for information on how to utilize the program.

Glean insights to quoting vacant and rental structures when you download our free tip sheet: 10 Items to Consider Before Quoting Vacant and Rental Property Insurance today. To learn more about how builders risk insurance can provide additional financial protection against loss, contact us at (800) 800 - 3907.

This is intended as a general description of certain types of insurance and services available to qualified customers. Your policy is the contract that specifically and fully describes your coverage. The description of the policy provisions gives a broad overview of coverages and does not revise or amend the policy.

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