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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?
Why might a property be unoccupied?
- You’ve inherited the property
- You own it as a holiday home
- 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 on 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 which is temporarily unoccupied.
It is temporary, standalone insurance which continues to ensure 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.
Further information about what is covered by empty home insurance may be found in our free unoccupied property guide.
Why may you need empty house insurance?
The main reason why you might need specialist insurance for your empty home is simply 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 home still needs the protection of adequate insurance – which is also almost certain to be a condition of any mortgage on the property.
There are some ways that you can help when your house is empty:
- Keep 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.
- Security measures
Keep criminals at bay by measuring 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. Ask someone trustworthy to open and close the curtains, or consider adding timers to your lights so that they come on at regular intervals.
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 50 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.
What does empty house insurance cover?
- Theft or attempted theft
- Damage caused by water or oil
- Damage from impact
Insurance policies are not all the same. It’s important to do research and find an insurance provider directly, to find out exactly what you’re covered for – as well as the things you’re not. 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.
What does the cover cost?
As with all insurance, it’s impossible to give a specific figure as your 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.
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 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, you can find out more here.
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.
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 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 securing the empty house insurance you need at the most competitive market rate.
* 75% of all customers receiving an online quote in May 2017 could have obtained a cheaper quote over the phone, based on the information they provided