Insurance products need to keep abreast of the times and be responsive to particular problems as and when they are identified.
That’s our belief here at UKinsuranceNET and the reason for our launch of a new product designed to improve on some of the failings and shortcomings of other forms of unoccupied property insurance.
The action comes in response to findings of a recent survey we commissioned, suggesting that as many as 80% of British homeowners may be putting their property at risk by failing to arrange the appropriate type of insurance, as and when they need it, to suit their individual needs and circumstances.
In particular, our research found that some 21% of property owners were unaware of or did not know what unoccupied property insurance is.
What is unoccupied property insurance?
Just as the term suggests, this is the type of cover needed when your property is going to be left empty and unoccupied for longer than a month or so.
It is necessary because, in response to the added vulnerability of an unoccupied property, insurers severely limit or even treat as lapsed the cover on property that has been left empty for longer than 30 to 60 consecutive days – the precise period varying from one insurer to another, and typically an average of 45 days.
Specialist unoccupied property insurance is needed to restore the required level of insurance cover for the empty property.
What does unoccupied property insurance cover – and what’s new?
A major shortcoming of many types of unoccupied property insurance is the very limited number and type of risks that are covered. These are popularly summed up by the acronym FLEEA – which means fire, lightening, explosion, earthquake and aircraft. Subsidence and property owner’s liability insurance may also be included.
The value of FLEEA cover might be questioned, not least because of the extreme rarity of lightning strikes, explosions, earthquakes or impacts by aircraft on homes in the UK – the British Geological Society, for example, says that 20 or 30 earthquakes might be detected by people each year, but that the quakes are very small and cause no damage.
What’s new is that we have significantly improved the level and extent of our latest unoccupied property insurance products.
An intermediate level of cover adds in the risks of loss or damage by impacts by vehicles or animals, smoke damage and falling objects such as aerials, satellite dishes and their associated fittings.
For truly comprehensive unoccupied property insurance, however, we are now able to offer cover that adds all of the following:
- loss or damage caused by theft or attempted theft;
- replacement locks after any such event;
- the escape of water or oil;
- accidental damage to sanitary fittings, fixed glass, solar panels and built-in ceramic hobs;
- smoke damage;
- riot, commotion, vandalism and malicious damage;
- falling trees, branches, lampposts or telegraph poles;
- accidental damage to cables, drains and underground pipework; and
- the cost of “trace and access” in order to expose damage to cables or pipework buried in walls or under floors.
If you own property that is going to be left empty and unoccupied for any length of time (over a month or so), you might want to arrange our enhanced unoccupied property insurance for complete peace of mind.