Buildings are left vacant for various reasons; perhaps a home is undergoing refurbishment or is awaiting sale or probate. Even though a property may be temporarily or permanently unoccupied, it is still a valuable asset that requires protection from risks.
You may already have home or building insurance in place to protect your home or commercial premises, but most policies will not offer cover if a building has been left empty for 60 days consecutively. Sometimes this can be as few as 28 days. This is where unoccupied property insurance comes into play, as claims made during a period where a building has been left empty for an extended period of time will not be covered by a standard policy.
Empty properties are seen as a higher risk than those with regular tenants. There is less chance of maintenance, utilities can deteriorate, they are also a magnet for vandalism, graffiti and unwelcome visitors.
Although some insurers will not quote for unoccupied premises as standalone policies, others will and their premium will vary widely. However, there are several ways you can increase the pool of insurers that will quote for your risk and reduce the quoted premium:
It is also important to consider what type of coverage you need:
Flying in the face of the well-publicised housing shortage, in 2015 there were 610,123 reportedly unoccupied dwellings in England alone, plus a multitude of unoccupied commercial properties. Properties can remain unoccupied for numerous reasons:
Just because you or a tenant are not living or actively working in the property you own, it doesn’t stop it being subjected to all manner of risks on a daily basis. Ab ricks and mortar is still your asset; it is valuable and need protection.
In terms of home insurance, most insurers will cover you for 30, if not 60 days of consecutive in-occupancy; this is to cover things like holidays, work commitments and unexpected hospital stays. Anything longer than this will need to be notified to your insurer and probably additional cover will need to be taken out. Commercial properties may not cover this at all, similarly if you rent a home to a tenant. Any claims made in excess of the allowable days will likely be declined, on a reduced payout or certain risks exempted.
Unoccupied property insurance will typically cover storm, fire, flood and theft. Liability insurance could also be included, for example, if your pipes burst and the resultant water damage also affected a neighbouring property. However, malicious damage will probably be excluded. If this is an important feature, check for exclusions or take affirmative action, such as increased security precautions.
You may be undertaking contracted work which will last for a set period of time. It is entirely possible to purchase an insurance policy for less than 12 months
Additional cover may be required if your building is made of nonstandard construction, is listed, has a thatched roof or resides in a known flood area.
Insure 24-7 are able to provide our clients empty building insurance policies for commercial and domestic properties.
We will tailor a competitively priced policy to suit your exact requirements, so whether you want to protect your home whilst you take an extended holiday, or protect your place of business whilst it’s empty for renovations, we’ve got you covered.
The cost of insurance for unoccupied properties is affected by a number of variables, including;
If you would like a free no obligation quote for unoccupied property insurance then please do not hesitate to contact Insure 24-7. Our expert brokers will be able to quote you a competitively priced policy that is tailored to your exact requirements.