Empty Vs Unoccupied Property

Every insurance policy has its requirements and its particulars, and landlord insurance is no exception to that rule. If you have a property that currently doesn’t house any residents, it’s likely that you are in need of empty property insurance or unoccupied property insurance. While they may sound like the same thing, they are actually two very different policies that will suit different properties for different situations. 

From the details as to what each insurance policy covers, to the key differences that you need to know in order to decide on the best one for your situation, we’ve put together a quick and handy guide to get started.

What Is Empty Property Insurance?

Empty Property Insurance, sometimes called ‘vacant’ property insurance, is an insurance product available for those with empty or vacant properties, providing financial protection for several claims. Empty properties are legally considered to be properties that are currently empty of tenants and of property, without any immediate plan to bring in new tenants. This could include properties that are in need of renovation before they can be sold or let, new builds that aren’t ready for residents yet, or any property that will stand empty for a prolonged period of time before later being sold or auctioned.

What Does It Cover?

Empty property insurance covers many of the same things that a standard home insurance policy would cover, as well as different levels that can suit different requirements and budgets according to what you need. Standard cover options typically include: 

  • Buildings Cover – This covers the financial costs associated with any repairs needed following structural damage to the building. The damage can be accidental, environmental or malicious by a third party.
  • Contents – While empty property insurance typically covers completely empty properties, contents insurance may still be beneficial for permanent fixtures, such as white goods, boilers and more.
  • Public Liability – While empty properties should remain securely locked, public liability insurance will provide financial protection if a member of the public is injured while on your premises. 
  • Malicious Damage – Empty properties can often be a target for vandalism, which is where malicious damage protection comes in. This will provide financial protection for any intentional damage caused by malicious persons.
  • Legal Expenses – This covers legal costs and compensation required for any pursuit or defence against disputes and claims made against you.

What Is Unoccupied Property Insurance?

Unoccupied Property Insurance is very similar to Empty Property Insurance, however, it is designed for properties that are only temporarily unoccupied. This includes properties that are between tenants, that are preparing to be sold or that may be undergoing renovations that are best carried out when the property is vacant. It can also be useful for properties that are currently unoccupied but are being prepared for owner-occupation in the near future. Unoccupied Property Insurance provides financial protection for the building against damage to the building or contents, among other policies, providing financial support in the case that repairs or replacements are needed. 

What Does It Cover?

Much like empty property insurance, Unoccupied property insurance covers similar things to a standard home insurance policy, including: 

  • Buildings – This provides financial protection for any repairs needed following damage to the structure.
  • Contents – This will cover any damage or theft of building contents, including furnishings. It will provide financial support in cases where repairs or replacements are needed.
  • Rent Guarantee – If your tenants are temporarily unable to pay their rent in situations where they may have had to leave the property in order for renovations to take place, rent guarantee will provide you with cover for loss of rent for up to 6 months.
  • Public Liability – If your tenants or members of the public are injured or fall ill as a result of, or while on your premises, public liability cover will ensure you are protected against claims made by these parties.
  • Malicious Damage – Malicious damage cover provides financial protection in cases where tenants or other malicious persons have caused intentional damage to the property or contents.
  • Legal Expenses – Legal expenses cover will provide financial support for all legal proceedings required to dispute or bring forward a claim.

Which Type of Cover Do I Need?

When it comes to choosing which policy will suit your situation best, hopefully knowing the difference will help you on your way. However, if you still aren’t sure, we’ve summarised some of the key situations for each insurance type. If you still aren’t sure, we are on hand to help you determine which policy is best, as well as provide you with a quote for the right policy.

You may need empty property insurance if:

  • Your property will be standing empty or vacant for a long period, or before being sold.
  • The property is a new build that is empty and due to be sold or rented to its first tenant
  • It is a space currently not in use or is in need of renovation before it can be sold or let.

You may benefit from unoccupied property insurance if: 

  • Your property is not currently occupied but is between tenants
  • The property is yours but is unoccupied during certain periods during the year. 
  • The property is unoccupied during works but will be re-occupied once they are completed.

For help with empty property insurance or unoccupied property insurance, the team at Ashburnham Insurance are on hand to help. Whether you’re in need of advice, or you’re looking for a quote for the right policy for you, simply get in touch on freephone 0800 1696137.

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