Unoccupied property insurance – leaving the current household policy in force

When a householder passes away or moves into residential care leaving their house unoccupied, it is often up to a family member or an executor to ensure that the unoccupied home of the former resident is insured correctly. Here is an issue with existing insurance policies where you might think the unoccupied property is insured adequately, but the amendment to the policy extending cover whilst the property is unoccupied might not be as suitable as you think.

Usually, the first call of the family member or executor will be to the existing home insurer to advise them that the property has become unoccupied. Many insurers will impose terms and restrictions on the cover they give, reducing the cover substantially (see our unoccupied property insurance factsheet for more information).

Some insurers are very helpful at this stage, offering to continue to insure the property whilst amending the definition of ‘unoccupied’ on their policy so that the exclusions are not applied – subject to certain conditions regarding security, heating etc.

Unoccupied property insurance quotation – fill in this form or call 01903 791340

Unoccupied verses Unfurnished

However, it is vital to understand the limitations of this situation. When the definition of ‘unoccupied’ has been amended, or the exclusions when the property is unoccupied have been deleted by endorsement to the policy, this does not affect any exclusions which apply when the property is unfurnished.

Therefore, if you decide to move the contents out of the property so it can no longer be described as furnished, the policy cover will be severely restricted (in most cases to exclude Theft, Malicious Damage, Escape of water, burst pipes and accidental damage).

This is a situation which is overlooked by thousands of people, but could prove extremely costly should a claim occur– vandalism or a burst pipe for example, which would then be turned down by the insurers.
We recommend a specialist unoccupied property insurance policy is purchased immediately.

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