There are many reasons why a property is empty for a long period of time. Perhaps you are in between moves, you have moved out whilst renovations or works are taking place, you are on an extended holiday or away from home due to illness. Whatever the reason, it is important to know that most standard home insurance does not provide any cover for properties that are left empty for more than 30 consecutive days. If you think your property will be empty for more than 30 days, read why specialist unoccupied home insurance is essential for you to protect your property and any Contents.
How Long Will Your Property Been Unoccupied For?
The conditions of an insurance policy will depend on how long the property is going to be left vacant and how often the property is inspected internally. If your property is empty for over a month, it is important to find specialist unoccupied property insurance. This is because most standard insurance policies only cover periods of unoccupancy for up to 30 days.
Why do I need Unoccupied Property Insurance Cover?
Unoccupied properties are prone to larger losses due to no one regularly living in the property to detect any arising issues that could occur, for example leaking pipes that could (and does) cause extensive water damage to the fabric of the buildings and any contents. Properties that are left vacant are also targeted by criminals. There have been incidents where thieves have stripped tiles from roof’s, removed copper plumbing pipes, boilers and even stolen the front door on properties, not to mention the theft of any Contents in the property. Vacant properties are also more likely to be vandalised. It is therefore very worthwhile to make the property looked “lived in”, making sure the grass and gardens continued to be mowed and upkept. Curtains are drawn and closed at different points and lights are automatically turned off and on at different intervals. Unoccupied property insurance may offer significantly more protection for these risks than would be offered from a standard home insurance policy.
The level and variety of insurance cover can vary widely between different insurance providers. Take some time to review your policy documents to ensure your empty property insurance covers all you require, and that you can meet the conditions of the policy.
Some of the most likely Insurer requirements are as follows:
-The property must be kept to a certain standard of repair externally, and have a well maintained appearance. This is to give the impression that the property is lived in. Windows should not be boarded up, and the front garden should be well kept.
-AT LEAST Weekly internal checks are carried out to maintain the external appearance, and to help make the property look lived in. It also ensures that any damage or issues that arise can be reported and dealt with more quickly, and reduce further damage.
-Certain security measures must be in place. The following are minimum recommendations:
-Five lever mortice deadlocks or other approved locks conforming to BS3651 on all final exit doors-Key-operated devices on all opening windows and skylights
What Are Your Plans for The Property?
Properties can be left alone for a number of reasons. Some of the most common include:
• Moving home
• Property in probate
• Long-term renovation or building works
• Landlord-owner building between tenants
• Long term illness or care
It is important to be clear to your insurance provider the reason why your property is unoccupied, and your best estimate as to how long the unoccupancy period may last. Both of these reasons may affect the cost and the type of cover you have, or in some circumstances render a standard policy as invalid.
How Long Do I Need Cover For?
If you are waiting for your old home to be sold or undergoing renovations, you may not know the exact length of cover you will need. Speak to our advisors for professional advice if you have any questions, or require an extension on your current insurance policy.
Where to Find the Right Unoccupied Home Insurance
Intelligent Insurance policies provide cover for up to 60 days of unoccupancy as standard and provide competitive cover for properties left unoccupied for longer periods. To give you a clear idea of costs, we can provide immediate online quotes in most cases. If you have questions, you can speak to our experienced advisors in our UK office.
Contact us today to request your online unoccupied house insurance quote or call our advisors on 03333 11 11 10.