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Be Familiar with the Vacancy/Occupancy Clause in Policies You Sell


It’s common for a client to blame the agent when a claim is denied based on a vacancy or occupancy clause. This is challenging because an agent may be unaware when a property is or becomes unoccupied/vacant. Examples include a vacation home, a property undergoing renovations, or a home purchase where the owners have not moved in yet.


What can you do to help avoid E&O claims related to this exposure?

  • Be familiar with the vacancy clauses in the policies you are selling. This is especially important when you’re placing coverage in the E&S market using non-standard language.
  • Ask the client about the occupancy and intended use of the property when you’re placing coverage.
  • Point out vacancy clauses in writing to your clients.
  • Advise your clients in writing that they must contact you if their property’s status changes because the coverage may need to be modified.


QUESTIONS? Please contact E&O Risk Management Specialist/Executive Commercial Lines Underwriter Tabitha DeGirolano, RPLU+, CPLP, at or 315-734-2439 – she’s ready to help.

This information is provided solely as an insurance risk management tool. Utica Mutual Insurance Company and the other member insurance companies of the Utica National Insurance Group (“Utica National”) are not providing legal advice or any other professional services. Utica National shall have no liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the use of the information provided. You are encouraged to consult an attorney or other professional for advice on these issues.


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