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Unoccupied Property Insurance
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Unoccupied Property Insurance
If you own a property, there may be times when it stands empty for a number of consecutive days, which could invalidate or severely restrict the cover on your home insurance or landlords insurance.
In cases like this, you may typically need unoccupied property insurance (also known as empty property cover or unoccupied house insurance) rather than standard home insurance. This will ensure that your home is still protected against unexpected events that cause loss or damage, such as floods, fire, theft etc as insurers see this as a greater risk leaving your property vacant.
What is unoccupied property insurance?
Unoccupied property insurance is a policy that protects your property when it is left unoccupied for longer periods. This could be for various reasons, including having a property for sale, in between tenants, where a property is undergoing probate, extended holidays or property renovations.
What does unoccupied property insurance cover?
This varies from policy to policy, with some policies being very restricted and offering just Fire cover. However, we also provide comprehensive policies, which can include Escape of Water, Theft, Vandalism and Malicious Damage.
What is the difference between unoccupied property, empty property and vacant property?
While you may hear these different terms for an empty property, there is no difference. They are all the same.
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When is a property classed as empty?
It is important to note that a property can be classed as empty, even if it is furnished.
There are various circumstances in which a property can become unoccupied or empty, and you need unoccupied property insurance, such as:
you go on an extended holiday or business trip, and your home is left empty;
you are a landlord with a let property that is experiencing a void;
the property is undergoing significant renovation, alteration or extension;
you have a probate policy that is empty while the paperwork gets sorted;
where you have moved to a new home, but your old house is still awaiting sale.
Many people get a shock when they find out their insurance becomes invalid due to their property standing empty.
How long must a property be empty before my home insurance becomes invalid or restricted?
The majority of property insurers are happy to cover an unoccupied property for a short period (typically up to 30-45 consecutive days depending on the insurer) with no alteration to the policy.
As part of your insurance contract with your provider, however, you may find you are obliged to heat the property and/or have regular, logged checks made by an authorised person in your absence. This log of checks may be requested if you make a claim.
Once this period has been exceeded, insurers often dramatically reduce cover or withdraw it altogether. There are a few insurers that will continue with full cover, but again these are subject to terms and conditions.
That is why empty property cover exists and why, if you have a vacant property, you may wish to consider a specialist unoccupied insurance policy.
We can help you access the most cost-effective and appropriate cover for your needs, providing home insurance for unoccupied property as well as landlords insurance for property that is awaiting an occupant.
Does it cost more to insure an unoccupied property?
In most cases, yes, it does cost more to insure an unoccupied property. This is because no one is living in the property, and therefore, damage can go undetected for longer. For example, a small leak that goes unnoticed can cause extensive damage in a relatively short time – causing a higher claim amount.
This means that any successful insurance claims may typically be higher. The cost of unoccupied property insurance reflects this increased risk.
Can I take unoccupied property insurance over a shorter term as I may not need 12 months cover?
Yes, at UKinsuranceNET we understand that the need for flexible empty house insurance is essential. So, we have many policies that offer different policy terms, including 3 months, 6 months and 9 months.
We also offer various monthly direct debits options, too, for your convenience.
What else do I need to know?
As with any type of insurance policy, there will be terms, conditions and exclusions that you need to be mindful of. These could relate to your obligations when the property is empty (as touched on above) as well as circumstances that may not be covered. These will all be disclosed within your policy documents.
To find out more about unoccupied property insurance, please feel free to get in touch. At UKinsuranceNET we will be pleased to help you with your unoccupied house insurance comparison or unoccupied landlord insurance comparison. We will help you find what we believe is the most suitable and cost-effective solution for you from a range of empty property insurance policies.
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