Will home insurance cover an empty house?
A property is considered “unoccupied” by insurers if it is left vacant for a minimum of 30 consecutive days. There are a number of reasons why your vacant property may qualify as an unoccupied property, and we’ll list some common examples at the end of this guide.
If your property will be empty for more than a month, it may not be covered by your home insurance. Most home insurance policies will state that the property must not be left unoccupied for more than 30 days, in which case the property will not be covered in the event of a disaster or intruder as the policy is invalidated. Even if you were to negotiate something with your current home insurer, the cover may still be insufficient or extremely restricted in comparison to if you were to purchase a specialist policy.
To ensure that your empty home is financially protected, you will need to take out unoccupied property insurance. This can cover the building, content or both. Unoccupied property insurance may be a little more expensive than what you could expect to pay for a standard home insurance policy, but the risks are greater as the house is left unattended for a long period of time. If there is a fire, flood or break-in, the damage caused is often greater than it would have been if there were someone present to minimise the damage.
When the home becomes occupied, then you can replace the unoccupied property insurance with traditional home insurance – or wait until the insurance is due for its renewal and replace it then.
You may want Empty Property Insurance if…
Your property may not have an occupier whilst it is being renovated. You may be renovating the property to sell on, to rent it out to a tenant or simply for yourself and you intend on moving in or returning to the property once the renovation project is complete.
Maybe the house is derelict and awaiting renovation, but you would like to insure the building so that no damage is caused before work is done.
You are searching for a tenant to move in and expect that the property will be vacant for at least a month.
You have a house on the market that will be empty until you have a buyer, and wish to insure the building before it is sold. In this scenario, it is important to be aware that insurance policies for a house that is to be sold will be annual. (So if you do decide to take out insurance for an unoccupied house to be sold, the minimum period will be one year and there are cancellation charges should you choose to cancel once the property is sold.)
In the upsetting event that a family member passes away, finances and property is the last thing you want to think about. But unfortunately, there’s a lot to take care of. The empty homes of the recently deceased are sitting targets for shameless burglars and vandals, and insuring the home will help with the costs if anything were to happen.
At Ashburnham, we deal with a number of insurers to find the best Unoccupied Property Insurance to suit your specific requirements, and at comparatively low premiums. We can cover a broad spectrum of different types of properties (both residential and commercial) for both short-term or long-term periods of vacancy.
Call us FREE on 0800 1696137
if you would like to talk to us directly about your vacant property or to get a quote!