A property that has been abandoned by all occupants with no intention of returning is considered not just unoccupied, but vacant.

As vacancies are on the rise with the challenged economic times this is a concern to the insurance companies.

There can be fires, theft, vandalism, wind damage, water damage and collapse claims - this can not only result in claims being paid out for the repairs and replacement to the houses but also there can be more third party liability claims.

So if you own a rented home or a building there is a need for you to keep your insurer informed if the property is vacant. This usually results in an increased premium but it is better then not having coverage when you need it!

Be aware that there is no coverage for water damage if your property is vacant. So if you are in-between renters or your home is up for sale then you should consider shutting off the water and draining the pipes.

If your commercial building is vacant then you could be at risk for liability claims resulting in injury or crimes committed upon persons who are on your premises.

It is important you do all you can to keep the vacant premises safe. Security systems, watchmen and patrols are all something to consider.

A vacant building is always at more risk then a building with occupants. Bear this in mind and take the necessary steps to try and protect your property.