Unoccupied insurance is something you’ll need if you have a property that is vacant for extended periods of time. It’s necessary to have this type of policy in place as standard home insurance may limit what you’re covered for should the property become damaged in some way when left unoccupied. And your insurance may be invalidated completely.
In this post, we’re going to cover what counts as an unoccupied house and how to make sure it’s properly insured – including the requirements you need to meet and how to apply.
What is the difference between vacant and unoccupied properties?
Whilst researching you may see references to insuring vacant properties and unoccupied properties. If you’re wondering what the difference is – there isn’t any. When it comes to getting unoccupied house insurance or vacant property insurance the terms are interchangeable and mean the same. They are just slightly different ways of saying the same thing.
What counts as an unoccupied house?
There are a variety of different scenarios where a property or house could be classed as unoccupied.
- When a property has been sold but you haven’t yet moved in
- You’re a landlord and you’re between tenants
- It’s a holiday home or a home you’ve inherited in which you don’t live full-time
- You’re away on an extended holiday
- You’ve been taken into long-term medical care
- The building is being renovated and isn’t safe to live in
Usually, if a property is unoccupied for longer than 60 days then your standard home insurance may apply certain restrictions, limitations to your cover, or worst case your policy may no longer be valid. In which case you may need unoccupied insurance. However, every insurance provider is different, and some may stop covering you after as little as 30 days, so it’s important to check your policy.
Unoccupied insurance requirements
In order to get unoccupied insurance, there aren’t really any special requirements as it works in a similar way to standard home insurance. You must be the owner of the property and it must be vacant for a prolonged period.
When can I apply for vacant property insurance?
You should apply for vacant property insurance as soon as you know your property is going to be vacant. For example, if you know you’re planning an extended holiday for longer than 30-60 days you should check your current policy terms and conditions as you may need to arrange vacant house insurance for the duration of your trip.
As we mentioned earlier in the post, there are various other scenarios where you may need unoccupied insurance and you should aim to get buildings insurance for a vacant property as soon as possible.
How to insure an unoccupied house?
The process of insuring an unoccupied house is very similar to standard home insurance.
There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of your insurance and what exactly will be covered, including:
- The rebuilding value of the property
- Your level of cover you require
- Where the property is located
- The property’s security
All this will be discussed with your insurance provider and it’s important to be as accurate and truthful as possible as you may end up with too little cover or an invalid policy should you make a claim.
Insurers usually offer unoccupied home insurance in policies lasting for three, six, nine or 12 months. But if you think you’ll be away for longer, or if your absence is sudden, you’ll normally be able to extend your policy as well.
Where to find vacant property insurance?
Not all property insurance providers may provide unoccupied insurance. Some do but offer limited options. However, at UKinsuranceNET, we provide specialist unoccupied insurance to give you peace of mind that you’re got the correct cover for your needs should the worst happen. We are specialists in insurance for empty properties with over 20 years’ experience in this area.