Top tips on getting cheaper empty property insurance

Posted: 21st Dec 2016

As homeowners take longer than usual winter breaks in search of sunnier weather and students leave their rented accommodation for the holidays, this may be a time of year when your home or let property may be standing empty, with no one living there, for several weeks or so.

That also makes it a time of year when you might want to take a closer look at your home building and contents insurance, or your landlord insurance, to see just what might happen to your level of insurance cover after the property has been left empty for 30 or 45 consecutive days or so. Although the precise period of time is likely to vary from one insurer to another, it is extremely likely that cover becomes very limited – or lapses altogether – once the building has been left unoccupied.

To maintain the level of protection your empty property needs, therefore, you might want to consider unoccupied property insurance.

Unoccupied property insurance

Like most forms of insurance, you are likely to find cheaper cover the more carefully you look around and the better informed your sources of advice:

  • by using a specialist broker such as ourselves, you might be assured of some of the most competitively priced, cheaper policies in the market – without skimping on the insurance cover you need;
  • unoccupied property insurance is designed to take over where your regular home or landlord insurance leaves off once your property has been empty for a month or so;
  • if you are looking to save money on the cost of unoccupied property insurance, you need to take the same degree of care in establishing what you want covered and to what amount;
  • depending on the kind of property you are leaving vacant, and the length of time it is likely to remain empty, you might be content with relatively basic cover – which unoccupied property insurance is certainly flexible enough to provide;
  • in the case of your own home, however, you are likely to look for a comprehensive form of unoccupied property insurance;
  • even if you are looking to economise, buildings cover needs to be sufficient to pay for the cost of completely reconstructing the property in the event of a major disaster and contents need to be insured to their full replacement value;
  • you also need to maintain an adequate level of property owner’s liability insurance against claims made by any neighbour or member of the public who may be injured or have their property damaged as a result of contact with your empty property – even including individuals who may have entered the property illegally.

Management of an empty and unoccupied property might involve more than first appears. Indeed, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is holding a seminar on the subject of empty commercial property in February of 2017.