If you leave a property empty for an extended period, whether you are travelling, or simply waiting for a house sale to close, you may want to make sure that your property is protected.
You might think your Home Insurance will be enough but the reality is, these policies most likely won’t cover you if your property has been empty for some time.
In this case, you want to consider ‘Unoccupied Home Insurance’ instead. This Insurance policy is designed to protect your home against any damage while the property is empty.
But what is Unoccupied Home Insurance exactly? In this article, we will cover all you need to know about this policy and why you might want to think twice before leaving your empty property unprotected.
What is Unoccupied Home Insurance?
Is important to know that your current Home Insurance policy might not cover your property if you are planning to leave it unoccupied for a length of time, you first need to check your policy document as it will show you from how many days your property will be considered ‘unoccupied.
In this case, you would want to contact your insurer or broker to adapt or increase your cover. However, if this isn’t possible, you would have to take out what we call ‘Unoccupied Home Insurance.
What does it cover?
Policies vary depending on which insurer you chose. However, a standard unoccupied home insurance policy should cover:
- Burst pipes
- Escape of water or oil
- Storm, flood, or fire damage
- Public liability
Why do I need it?
An unexpected event can happen when you least expect it. Problems such as leaking pipes, might leave the property more vulnerable to damage as is not as quick to spot. Moreover, empty premises have a higher risk of burglary or vandalism than occupied properties and are more likely to get broken into.
Typical scenarios where you may need cover.
- Travelling for a long period of time
- You are selling your property and you have already moved to a new property.
- You’ve bought a new property but you’re not living there yet.
- You are waiting for a new tenant to move in
- You are having building work done and you can’t live inside your property.
Tips when you are planning to leave your property empty.
- Make sure all your property doors and windows are fully closed and locked (burglary through unforced entry it is most likely is not going to be covered)
- Keel all security systems activated such as CCTV, smart doorbell or lock, burglar alarm, etc.
- Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your property.
- Turn your water off.
- Unplug all appliances.
Be aware of exclusions
There might be certain situations in which your unoccupied home insurance policy will not cover.
If you are doing some property renovations such as structural work, the policy is unlikely that will cover any damage done to the property. The same applies to damaged caused by contractors (although contractors should have their own cover in place)
As mentioned above, if a burglar enters your property unforced (this may be because you left the window open or the door unlocked), then the policy won’t be covering it.
Lastly… Make sure to review all your options and check what different insurance suppliers can offer you as they might provide different cover options.
We, therefore, recommend you to choose a broker that can advise you on the best cover for your empty property!