Unoccupied Property Insurance

Protecting Vacant Homes

If your home, holiday home or business premises is empty for longer than your standard policy will cover, which is typically up to 30- 60 days, you will need unoccupied insurance cover. Cover periods will vary depending upon the insurer, however, be aware that any insured incidents that might otherwise be covered, may not be, if the incident occurs outside of this period. The term ‘lived in’ can be defined as people regularly sleeping in the property overnight and carrying out day-to-day activities such as cooking and bathing in the property.

Left Unoccupied, or Not 'Lived-In'

Even if the property is furnished and has items within it, it is classed as unoccupied, if no one is actually living there, or it is vacant or empty. Having a property unoccupied for long periods can cause potential complications and risks. For example, issues such as vandalism, theft, water damage, fire, and storm damage, may be more likely in unoccupied homes. 

We take this into consideration with our policies and our expert team will discuss your needs in detail to find a policy that gives you  adequate cover to ensure that your unoccupied property is protected against potential risks.

For Example:

  •         The chance of theft goes up
  •         Squatters may incur expensive legal fees in order to evict them

When considering Unoccupied Property Insurance for residential or commercial property, it is important to include the following covers:

  •         Storm, flood, or fire damage
  •         Escape of water or oil – any burst pipes or leakages
  •         Theft – following a break-in at the property
  •         Vandalism – any criminal damage that occurs in your absence
  •         Legal expenses – covers legal fees for situations such as removal of squatters, trespassers, or personal identity theft
  •         Property Owners Liability – any damage to third parties or their property, caused by your property, such as having a roof tile falling and hitting a parked car.

It is important to consider aspects of insurance covers.

Implement security measures to reduce the risk of theft and vandalism, such as installing alarm systems, security cameras, and ensuring all doors and windows are securely locked.

Some insurers may require specific security measures as a condition of coverage.

Check if the policy includes liability coverage in case someone is injured on the property while it is unoccupied.

Maintain the property even while it is unoccupied. This includes keeping the outside areas such as any gardens, tidy and clearing snow, and ensuring that heating and plumbing systems are functioning to prevent issues like frozen pipes. Consider turning off non-essential utilities to reduce the risk of fire or water damage. However, maintain necessary utilities to keep the property in good condition.

Arrange for regular inspections of the property to check for issues like leaks, pest infestations, and general wear and tear. Some insurers may require periodic inspections as part of the policy conditions.

Be aware that unoccupied property insurance can be more expensive than standard home insurance due to the increased risks. That is why it is wise to use an underwriter to help you to  find the best coverage at a reasonable price.

Most insurance policies will vary between providers; therefore, you need to speak to an experienced adviser to ensure that you have the level of cover that you need. We also specialise in working with families with properties in probate to ensure the executors have the right policy in place while the property is unoccupied.

We can cover any vacant home, including listed buildings. If you own several properties  we can also offer Portfolio Insurance. Talk to us about a specialised unoccupied property insurance policy, which provides coverage tailored to the unique risks associated with vacant homes.

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