Properties can be unoccupied for a variety of reasons, the owner could be waiting on a sale, property left in a will or the intention might be to let the property and so unoccupied waiting for a tenant. The message regarding arranging home insurance is simple, if the property is unoccupied for a period beyond 30 days then standard home insurance will typically not provide cover and you need to seek out specialist unoccupied property insurance.
Unfortunately, finding specialist cover can be challenging as many home insurers consider the risk of an empty property as too high for a number of reasons; the chances of it suffering damage are much higher from burst pipes in cold weather, as are the increased chances of it being subjected to various types of criminal damage such as vandalism orburglary. An empty property also faces an increased risk of storm damage or flood due to a lack of monitoring and maintenance.
To protect your investment there are some very simple precautions you can take to ensure your property remains in good order.
- Regularly inspect it, don’t leave it for weeks and months; ensure you or a trusted friend or relative gain access to the property and carry out a proper inspection of each room and outbuildings.
- Install insurer approved security including alarms and approved locks.
- To reduce the risk of fire, remove all combustible materials such as free newspapers and junk mail and consider a fire alarm alongside any security alarm
Another important consideration is that of plumbing, I had the misfortune of being one of the first on the scene of a colleague’s house that had suffered burst pipe damage during the couples extended winter holiday break. The damage was extraordinary, utter devastation for the couple which lead to them being out of their property for 10 months, the damage was discovered within 24 hours but the damage so extensive the eventual claim ran into tens of thousands of pounds. So ifyour property is to be empty for the winter period then I recommend draining your pipes and having the heating on at regular intervals.
If your property is currently empty you need specialist unoccupied property insurance from The Home Insurer who partner with a panel of specialist Brokers with proven experience in this particular unique area of insurance, you’re assured that you will get the cover you need at a great price!