If you’re wondering “Can I use standard home insurance for my empty property?”, empty home insurance may well be a sensible option to consider. In this article, we discuss the purposes and benefits of empty home insurance in the UK, including what policies of this kind do and do not cover.
If your property is likely to be sitting vacant in the near future, read on for some key details of empty home insurance cover that you’ll need to know before making an investment of this kind.
What is Empty House Insurance?
Policies of this kind are fairly self-explanatory. They provide home insurance for empty property.
But what qualifies as an empty or unoccupied house?
Empty house insurance products are available to owners of property who expect their home to sit empty for more than 30-45 days (depending on the policy terms provided by the individual insurer). Most policies of this kind are flexible. Their terms are rarely fixed at 12 months, as is the case for other insurance products, but can instead be set to cover as few as 3 months. They can also be extended if the period for which the home is unoccupied ends up being longer than previously estimated.
Why Insure an Empty House?
You cannot rely on standard home insurance for an empty house if the property is likely to remain unoccupied for a significant period of time.
This is because many standard policies specify a maximum period of permitted vacancy, after which the cover they provide may be reduced or even removed altogether. This means that the structure and fabric of the building in question - along with its contents - will not be protected. In addition, empty homes may be at greater risk of break-ins and vandalism than those that are not vacant.
What’s more, if a property has residents in situ, those individuals may be able to actively limit the potential damage caused by accidents, storms, floods and more. If it does not, the building may be considered at greater risk. For this reason, it’s very important to make sure suitable insurances are in place to guard against loss and damage in an empty property.
What Does Empty House Insurance Cover?
The exact application of this type of cover depends on the product you purchase, and on the provider used. However, the best home insurance for empty properties will include cover against:
- Fire, floods, and other natural disasters
- Malicious Damage
- Theft or vandalism
- Burst Pipes
Why is Unoccupied Property Insurance More Expensive Than Home Insurance?
The key reason for the difference in cost between standard home insurance and empty home insurance is the level of risk perceived by the insurer. As previously mentioned, vacant buildings are usually considered at greater risk of a range of issues, from thefts to flooding - and, as is the case with any other type of insurance, the higher the risk, the higher the premiums.
What Does Unoccupied Home Insurance Not Cover?
There are some circumstances that even the best home insurance for empty homes can’t cover.
- Burglary, where entry was gained via an unlocked window, door or other unsecured point.
- Damage incurred during major building work or renovations.
- The health and safety of any contractors working on your property while it is vacant, as they should have their own cover in place.
Do I Need Extra Security for an Empty House?
If a property you own is to stand vacant for any extended length of time, it is highly advisable that you invest in additional security measures to keep it safe. Not only will this help to prevent damage and break-ins, but it may also make it easier to claim on your empty home insurance - as you’ll be able to prove that you have taken as many measures as possible to protect the property.
As well as investing in high-quality external door and window locks, alarm systems, security lighting and remotely-accessible cameras, you might also decide to redirect your mail, put your lights on timers and ask a trustworthy neighbour to check on the house at regular intervals.
Where to Get an Empty Property House Insurance Quote
The experienced brokers at UK Insurance Net will work with you to compare empty homes insurance quotes, helping you find the most suitable product for your needs. We’ll provide clear advice and guidance on the best empty home insurance options for your unique circumstances, so you can achieve peace of mind when leaving your property unoccupied for an extended period of time.
So, if you’ve been wondering “can I insure my home unfurnished and empty”, the answer is yes - with the help of a suitable empty house insurance policy.
For a free online quote, simply contact UK Insurance Net today. We'll be very happy to assist you.