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Insurance for unoccupied property
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Insurance for unoccupied property
You might have seen it for yourself. An empty property seems to be a magnet for vandals, squatter and otherwise undesirable intruders. In no time at all, it might take on the appearance of an abandoned building and spread a sense of decay to the whole neighbourhood.
Fire is also a major risk for unoccupied property – whether the result of deliberate arson or through an electrical short-circuit or other fault sparking a fire which goes unnoticed until it is too late.
Even though you may have taken every effort to ensure the building remains well maintained, unexpected minor faults might still develop into events causing major damage if no one is on hand to report the incident.
Why do you need insurance for unoccupied property?
The perils outlined suggest the major reason for your need for insurance for unoccupied property – the risks may pose a major threat to the integrity of the structure and fabric of the building and to its contents.
Because of those increased risks, insurers typically revise the level and standard of cover once a building has become unoccupied for more than around 30-60 consecutive days – the exact period varying from one insurer to another.
The revision may result in significantly lower levels of cover or may result in the insurer regarding the policy as having lapsed once the property has become unoccupied for the prescribed period of time.
Therefore, specialised insurance for unoccupied property is needed if you are to maintain the level of cover you need during the time that the building lies empty.
What you need to know when buying cover
When arranging cover for unoccupied property it is important to remember that you still have a responsibility for mitigating the risk of loss or damage.
One of the basic tenets on which insurance is based, is the expectation that you take all those measures to safeguard the property as you might if there were no insurance in place. In the event of any claim, your failure to take those steps might reduce the amount of any settlement – on account of your own contributory negligence – or for the claim to be rejected entirely.
In the case of unoccupied property, the measures you might reasonably be expected to take are to ensure that:
although empty, the property nevertheless remains well maintained;
adequate locks are installed – and used – on all exterior doors and windows;
depending on the nature and size of the building, burglar alarms might be fitted – or at least appear to be fitted through the display of the appropriate “box”;
where it is realistic to do so, steps might be taken to give the appearance that there is someone at home – in residential property, for instance, lights on timer switches or a neighbour’s car parked in your driveway from time to time; and
the property is regularly inspected – informally, by a friend or neighbour, or more formally by a property management or security company – and a record kept of those visits.
Why choose us?
Whether you are looking for short-term or long-term insurance for your unoccupied property and whether you want basic or more comprehensive cover, at UKinsuranceNET we have the experience and expertise to secure the cover the suits your needs at a competitive price.