Vacancy Risks


While trends are improving, we are still seeing significant vacancies across all occupancy types. Vacant buildings are magnets for risk. Under-occupied buildings are at increased risk for criminal or maintenance related damage. Vacant buildings attract thieves and arsonists, vandals and vagrants. Because of the increased risk, insurance policies have wording that limits coverage when a property is vacant.

While general usage of the word vacant means completely unoccupied, a building does not need to be 100% empty for the vacancy limitations to be triggered. The policy definition will specify the conditions for vacancy. Like all standard property policies, MRMG contains a Vacant Building Special Endorsement which defines the terms of vacancy. A property is vacant when less than 25% of building SF is occupied for more than 60-90 consecutive days at the time a loss occurs. Buildings under construction are not considered vacant.

As a consequence of vacancy, certain exclusions and limitations are triggered on the policy. In the MRMG program the following coverages are excluded for vacant properties:

  • Vandalism

  • Sprinkler leakage (unless protected against freezing)

  • Glass Breakage

  • Water Damage

  • Theft or Attempted Theft

Further, any other covered loss's payment will be reduced by 10-15%!

What to do about vacant buildings

  • Notify us when a significant portion of your building is unoccupied.

  • Notify local police, fire, alarm and utility services that building is vacant. Asked to be contacted and informed of any unusual activity.

  • Keep all fire alarms, smoke detectors and sprinklers functioning.

  • Test fire equipment quarterly.

  • Inspect roof for leaks.

  • Keep property lit with motion detecting lights.

  • Keep doors and windows shut and locked.

  • Consider hiring an onsite guard.

  • Shut off any services not needed for fire protection or security services.

  • Do not store dangerous or flammable materials in a vacant building.

  • Perform regular walk throughs at least once a week.

  • Consider finding a worthy organization to occupy your building in exchange for maintenance.