Arson, vandalism, squatters and other unwelcome intruders, not to mention the risk, when no one is at home to spot it, of a dripping tap turning into a raging flood – the perils faced by an empty and unoccupied home are manifold.
The next time your job takes you away from home for several months at a time, the next time you take an extended holiday overseas, the next time you are temporarily forced out of your home because the builders are in, or the next time you are awaiting the delayed start of a new tenancy in your buy to let property, you might want to spare a thought for specialist empty home insurance.
There is a general consensus – amongst insurers in particular – that an empty home is exposed to more and a higher level of risk than one in more or less continuous residence.
However careful you might be to disguise the fact, an empty home nearly always stands out – to offer an invitation to vandals, arsonists, thieves, and etc.
That heightened risk is taken on board by the insurers who may be providing your current home insurance or landlord insurance. Whilst they may be content to extend cover whilst the home is occupied, they tend to take a quite different view when it is empty.
Indeed, standard home insurance and landlord insurance policies typically reduce cover – or regard the policy as having lapsed – once the premises have been left unoccupied for more than a period of 30 to 60 consecutive days (the actual period varying from one policy to another).
The effect is to increase still further the perils to which your unoccupied home is exposed – not only are there the heightened risks because the building is empty, but the restriction or removal of cover by your normal insurer leaves it even more vulnerable.
Empty home insurance is able to step into this breach and restore the protection you need for your home.
When you are buying empty home insurance it is important – just as with any other type of policy – that you understand what is covered and what is excluded.
On the basis of that understanding you might choose between a more basic level of empty property insurance or look for fully comprehensive cover. You might want to choose cover for the building only or also include its contents. Some policies even extend to cover for malicious damage.
Just as with any other insurance, you are also required to play your part in mitigating any risk of loss or damage. It is important to know, therefore, about any requirements for heightened security (locks and intruder alarms), the need to turn off utilities, and any requirement for the empty home to be visited on a regular basis and routine maintenance undertaken as and when it becomes necessary.
At UKinsuranceNET we are able to arrange insurance for practically any type of empty home, including those of non-standard construction, listed buildings and high value properties.
Ongoing building works pose no problem and immediate cover is available from a wide selection of policies.
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