Unoccupied property insurance for empty houses. If you have an empty building, you need a vacant building insurance policy

Empty home insurance for unoccupied property

When a property becomes unoccupied the normal insurance policy that has been in place will unlikely be suitable. Most policies exclude cover for perils such as escape of water, burst pipes, theft, theft damage, malicious damage. These essential covers are normally excluded after 7, 14 or 30 days depending on the insurer. Some insurers will apply the exclusions immediately a property is not lived in as a permanent home.

Furnished or unfurnished?

Often, people will remove virtually everything from an unoccupied property as they may consider it to be a lower risk. This act in itself could attract unwanted attention as the local youngsters will be quick to spot an unfurnished premises waiting to be explored.

Many insurer’s home policy wordings state that as soon as a property is unfurnished for normal habitation then the major cover exclusions apply immediately.

There are specialist unoccupied property insurers who regard a property that remains furnished for normal habitation as a lower risk and provide a reduction in the normal unoccupied home insurance rates to reflect this.

Standard policy or specialist unoccupied policy?

A standard policy is very rarely going to provide full cover whilst the home is unoccupied. The additional cost of purchasing a specialist empty property insurance policy pales into insignificance when compared with the repair cost for a burst or frozen pipe claim easily costing £40,000 – £60,000 because of the increased time before discovery.

Unoccupied insurance for a rental property

Often when a property is purchased that is going to be added to a landlords portfolio of rental property insurance there will be some renovation work needed prior to tenants moving in. Indeed, even if the property doesn’t need work, there will still be a period of time before a tenant is found and moves in. During this time period the property is empty and a standard landlord’s insurance policy may not provide full cover either. The best course of action to insurer an empty rental property is on an unoccupied policy, then as soon as a tenant moves in, we can transfer the cover to a standard landlords insurance with a lower premium.

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