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What insurance do I need for an unoccupied house?

A sign on a black door that says "Occupied"
28 February 2024

By UKinsuranceNET In Unoccupied Property Advice

Owning a property comes with a myriad of responsibilities, one of which is ensuring it’s adequately protected, especially when it becomes unoccupied for any length of time. Whether you’re renovating, waiting to sell, or have a property going through probate, having the right insurance coverage for an unoccupied house is crucial.

Here, we’ll delve into the specifics of Empty Property Insurance to help you safeguard your unoccupied property.

The importance of insuring an empty house

Before diving into the types of insurance needed, it’s essential to understand why insuring an empty house is crucial. Unoccupied properties are more vulnerable to various risks compared to occupied ones. These risks include vandalism, burglary, squatters, floods, and maintenance-related issues like burst pipes going undetected.

In the eyes of insurers, leaving your property vacant for an extended period leaves it at a higher risk of incurring these types of issues. Standard Home Insurance is unlikely to cover you and could become invalidated in such an event if your home has been left unoccupied. This makes Empty Property Insurance a necessity.

What does Unoccupied Property Insurance cover?

Unoccupied Property Insurance typically offers a range of coverage options depending on the policy and provider. Many will also offer a variety of optional add-ons if you want to extend your cover at all.

The following are some of the main areas of cover that you can expect when you buy Empty Property Insurance:

Buildings Insurance for Unoccupied Properties

As a bare minimum, most Empty Property Insurance policies provide Buildings Insurance for unoccupied properties as standard. This provides essential cover for your property and all its permanent fixtures and fittings against damage, such as drives, gates, hedges, fences, walls and paths.

As part of this cover, any rebuild costs incurred due to an insurable event are normally included up to the sum insured. The sum insured is the maximum amount that an insurance company will pay if you make a claim. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your sum insured is correct and covers you adequately.

Contents Insurance for Unoccupied Properties

Some Unoccupied Property Insurance policies will allow you to extend your cover to include the contents of your home if you are planning to leave it vacant but furnished, for example. Similar to a homeowners content policy, you will normally be able to insure the content of your empty property up to an agreed limit.

Liability Insurance and Legal Cover

Most Empty Property Insurance policies include Liability Insurance that will cover your legal costs up to a specified amount in the event your negligence causes injury, accidental death, loss or damage to a third party on your property. Many policies provide a minimum of £2 million cover as standard.

Legal Cover is normally an optional extra that you can add to your policy, with the level of cover depending on your provider and the terms and conditions of your policy.

Short or long-term cover

You might not always know how long you will need your Unoccupied Property Insurance. Thankfully, you will find a large degree of flexibility available with 3, 6, 9 and 12-month policies available.

Factors to consider

When determining the type and amount of insurance coverage needed for your unoccupied property, several factors should be taken into account:

Duration of vacancy

The length of time your property will be unoccupied plays a significant role in determining the type of insurance coverage needed. Short-term vacancies may require different coverage than long-term vacancies.


The location of your property, including its susceptibility to certain risks like theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and floods, will impact the type and cost of insurance coverage needed.

Property condition

The condition of your unoccupied property, including its age, structural integrity, and maintenance history, will influence the level of risk and insurance requirements.

Security measures

Implementing security measures such as alarms, security cameras, and regular property checks can help mitigate risks and may affect the cost of insurance premiums.

Get Empty Property Insurance at UKinsuranceNET

Insuring an unoccupied house requires careful consideration of the specific risks involved and the appropriate insurance coverage needed to protect against them properly.

By understanding your insurance needs and working with an experienced broker like UKinsuranceNET, you can safeguard your unoccupied property effectively and mitigate potential risks and liabilities.

Insuring an empty house is simpler with UKinsuranceNET. If you need unoccupied property insurance, get an instant online quote now.

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