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House insurance unoccupied
There are a number of reasons why you might need to leave residential property you own empty and unoccupied for several months or so. In that event, what is the effect on your house insurance when unoccupied?
The reasons for the house having to be left vacant might include:
the fact that your job is calling you to work away from home for several months at a stretch;
the house might be in the course of refurbishment or the building of an extension and cannot be lived for the duration of the works;
a let property you own might be between tenancies, with the previous tenants having already left, but their successors still waiting to move in; or
the house might be subject to probate, and stands unoccupied whilst determination is made as to its eventual ownership and use.
Whatever the reason for your house being unoccupied, however, there is invariably some impact on the insurance which normally protects it.
Why do you need house insurance for unoccupied property?
In the normal course of events, your house and its contents are exposed to a variety of risks, such as flooding, storm damage, fire, impacts, vandalism and theft. A standard form of building and contents insurance typically covers these risks.
When the house is vacant and unoccupied, however, there are all these risks and additional ones too:
squatters, vandals, fly-tippers and other unwelcome visitors may cause untold damage to an empty building;
furthermore, when there is no one in residence to spot the need for running repairs and maintenance, a relatively minor fault may soon escalate into a major disaster – potentially resulting in the total loss of the whole building.
These additional risks and perils are typically enough for many insurers to significantly curtail or remove cover altogether once the property has been empty for a period of 30 or 60 consecutive days – the precise period depending on the insurer concerned.
Specialist unoccupied or empty property insurance is designed to restore the degree of protection your house continues to need even when there is no one living there.
What you need to know when buying cover
When buying this kind of cover, you need to have a reasonable idea of how long you are going to leave the house empty. After all, you may not want or need a full year’s cover if you are only going to be away for a few months or so.
By the same token, however, you may also want to know that the cover is sufficiently flexible to allow extensions as and when necessary – if you decide to stay away for longer or if some building works are overrunning, for instance.
You may also want to know whether both building and contents cover is available and whether you qualify for a discount on the premiums payable if you combine both types of insurance under a single policy.
Why choose us?
This probably overlooks one especially important fact you need to know before buying your empty property insurance – does the cost represent good value for money.
On this score alone, you might want to choose us here at UKinsuranceNET, where we scour the market for the most competitive prices of cover that suits your needs and circumstances.