Unoccupied Property Insurance: The Most Frequently Asked Questions

December 12th, 2019

Read the most frequently asked questions about unoccupied property insurance policies; see the answers, compare quotes and find the best deal to suit you.

What is the definition of unoccupied property insurance?

If a property is vacant for over 30 days, you can apply for temporary cover which is called unoccupied property insurance. Sometimes it is referred to as temporary property insurance. For more information read our beginners’ guide to unoccupied property insurance.

What is the duration of cover?

The availability of cover is usually for a period of three, six, nine or twelve months. You can apply for an extension to this, if you wish.

If my property is unoccupied, what cover will I get from my current home insurance?

You will not be covered by your home insurance policy if your property has been left unoccupied for over 30 days. Both buildings and contents temporary cover need to be taken out if you are going away for longer than this length of time.

When you take out a policy for unoccupied property insurance, it will afford protection against theft, fire, flood or damage, should any of these occur, whilst your property is empty.

In what circumstances do I need to take out a policy for short-term property insurance?

There are several reasons for ensuring cover for short-term. Typically these will include:

  • Whilst awaiting completion of renovations
  • If the property is up for sale
  • After sale and before occupation by new owners
  • Before finalisation of probate
  • In cases where the occupier has been taken into care, undergoing a lengthy hospital stay or is residing in a second home.

How are the calculations for premiums worked out for temporary cover?

Your premium will be based on the level of cover you need to be protected. Some factors that will be taken into consideration are:

  • Why the property is unoccupied?
  • Are renovations in progress?
  • What sort of security measures are in place?
  • Is the property up for sale, letting or reoccupation?
  • What is the time period for the property being vacant?

Are there any applicable exclusions?

It is wise to read through the full Terms and Conditions on your policy and make sure you understand them before taking out cover. However some instances of exclusion include the following:

  • If structural work is being carried out, whilst the property is empty, the policy will not cover loss, damage or any defects arising from this.
  • Any damage caused by tradesmen or contractors on site should be rectified by their own liability insurance cover and will not be covered by your unoccupied property cover. You should check this out.

If damage, theft or loss should occur as a result of your own carelessness such as leaving windows or doors open, and there has been no apparent force of entry, you will be exempt from cover.

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