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Empty House Insurance
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Empty Property Insurance
Is your home going to be empty for any length of time? Or, if you are a landlord, will there be no tenants in your buy to let property for a while?
Although you probably have standard home building and contents insurance or landlord insurance to cover the occupied property, why do you need to think about specialist empty house insurance when it’s not occupied?
Why might a property be unoccupied?
- you’ve inherited the property, and it is currently undergoing probate;
- you’ve left it up for sale after you’ve moved out into your new place;
- you’ve moved out while builders or decorators get work done;
- you’re going to be away on business or an extended holiday.
What is empty home insurance, and what does it cover?
Empty property insurance is just that – it provides cover for the structure and fabric and the contents of a property that is temporarily unoccupied.
It is temporary, standalone insurance which ensures that the building and (if required) its contents, remain adequately protected even when no one is living there.
Although your property may be unoccupied for a number of consecutive days, in the majority of cases it is unlikely to stay that way for more than a year. Because empty house insurance is short term, therefore, it is possible to arrange cover for less than the full 12 months typically required of other forms of general insurance and might cover a period of just three or six months, for example.
If it turns out that your property is going to be unoccupied for longer than you initially imagined, however, insurance for your empty home is generally sufficiently flexible to allow you to extend it as necessary.
Why may you need empty house insurance?
You might need specialist insurance for your empty home because your current home insurance or landlord insurance no longer provides the cover you need. Your current policy might not cover you once the building has been unoccupied for longer than 45 to 90 consecutive days.
Restrictions on the current insurance, or even the removal of cover completely, happens because of the increased risks to a property which is left empty – routine repairs might develop into major emergencies when there is no one at home to spot them and an empty property attracts all manner of unwanted attention from vandals and intruders.
Yet your property still needs the protection of adequate empty house insurance – which is also almost certain to be a condition of any mortgage on the property.
Keep your property safe
There are some ways that you can help when your house is empty such as:
- keeping your heating on low
Avoid frozen and burst pipes by keeping your heating and hot water on a low setting. This will also help with any boiler issues as it makes it tick over, rather than staying off before firing it up again. You may find that under the terms and conditions of your empty property insurance, you will be required at certain times of the year to keep the home at an ambient temperature in order to avoid burst, frozen pipes etc.
- security measures
Keep criminals at bay by making sure your house doesn’t look empty. Ask someone to collect your post regularly to avoid newspapers etc from keeping your letterbox open, or you can ask Royal Mail to keep it safe for you while you’re away with a re-direction service.
Ask someone trustworthy to open and close the curtains, or consider adding timers to your lights so that they come on at regular intervals.
What happens if you leave a house empty?
If you leave your house empty, you should notify your insurance company as there may be restrictions on your policy. If you do not currently have a policy, we can offer you empty house insurance quotes, enabling you selection of the most cost-effective and appropriate solution for you.
How often should an empty house be checked?
How often you will need to check on your empty house will vary depending on the insurance policy; however, we have unoccupied property insurance policies that have inspection requirements of every 7, 14 and 30 days.
Typically, these checks will need to be logged and designed to ensure that everything is order and there are no maintenance or other issues (such as a leak).
Who will insure an empty property?
Not all property insurance providers may provide unoccupied property insurance – or they may, but will have limited options.
It is also important to remember that insurance policies are not all the same. Policy terms and conditions may vary depending on the policy and the insurer. For example, you might find there are certain restrictions placed on your insurance policy only while it’s unoccupied, but the rest of the time, normal service remains.
Here at UKinsuranceNET, we are specialists in insurance for empty properties with over 20 years’ experience in this area. We can help you find what we believe is the most suitable and cost-effective empty house insurance for your own unique needs.
What does the cover cost?
As with all insurance, it’s impossible to give a specific figure as your empty property insurance will be personalised to you. Every property and every insurance provider is different. The amount that you’ll pay will depend on the area in which the property is located, and the reasons why the property will be left empty.
However, if you are wondering, “how much does it cost to insure an empty house?”, then as a guide, our premiums start from £175 for 12 months’ cover.
Will my home insurance still provide me with reliable cover if my home is left unoccupied for a time?
Your home insurance policy will probably state that you need to inform your insurance provider if your home is going to be unoccupied for more than 30-45 consecutive days.
When notifying your insurance provider, you’ll need to explain why your home is going to be unoccupied, and for how long. When it comes to holidays, unless they’re over 30 days, you typically won’t need to tell your provider. If you’re in any doubt, speak to your insurance broker or provider.
Why do I need to tell my insurance provider that my home will be unoccupied?
Insurance providers tend to consider an unoccupied home riskier than a home with people living in it. The chances of water damage, vandalism or break-ins are likely to be higher when there’s no one at home to spot issues quickly, or prevent them.
Every insurance provider will have a different view on unoccupied properties, so you’ll need to speak to yours directly, to find out what level of cover they’ll offer under an empty home insurance policy.
What if I fail to tell my insurance provider?
You’ll run the risk of invalidating your home insurance policy, if you fail to tell your insurance provider that your home is going to be unoccupied for a longer period than is set out in your policy. If you need to make a claim, your insurance provider may refuse to pay it.
Does getting specific landlord insurance help for empty rented properties?
Landlord insurance is a bit like home insurance, but it’s specifically designed to cover rental properties. And it’s designed to make life easier for landlords who will be missing out on rent for a few weeks or months.
Landlord insurance will usually allow a home to remain empty for up to three months. This can be very helpful, as it can often take more than a month for a new tenant to move in, or you may want to carry out renovations between tenants.
The good news is that here at UKinsuranceNET we have the expertise and experience to help you through all these questions and queries, with the specific objective in mind of helping you access a number of appropriate empty house insurance quotes and securing the empty house insurance you need - and at the most competitive market rate.
Why choose us at UKinsuranceNET?
We are specialists in the provision of empty property insurance.
We know that no one size fits all and that the specialist insurance that meets your individual needs has to be tailored to your particular circumstances, the nature of the property involved and the length of time you expect it to stand empty.
Our personalised customer service is backed by a combined total of 20 years’ of experience in this specialist area of property insurance and you may have confidence in dealing with a company that has grown to become one of the UK’s leading UK insurers.