Why compare unoccupied property insurance?

Posted: 2nd Jun 2014

Before talking about why it may be advisable to compare unoccupied property insurance, it may be worth confirming why such insurance may be necessary in the first place.

Unoccupied property

Typically, insurance companies regard unoccupied properties as being in a higher risk category than properties that are occupied.

The logic behind this is simple:

  • unoccupied properties may be far more attractive to burglars and vandals;
  • they may be more at risk of contents or even structural damage arising from problems that go unnoticed (leaks, broken windows, slipped slates etc).

Typically, no differentiation is made in this sense between unoccupied or empty property. If you do not have tenants (or anyone else) living in your buy to let property then it will be deemed as being unoccupied even if it is furnished.

Typically, insurance companies categorise a property as being an unoccupied property if it has stood unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days.

This provision may also exist in the home buildings and contents insurance policies applicable to traditional owner-occupied properties.

Let property insurance

If your property is insured through the appropriate form of landlord insurance, that insurance may become invalid once your property is classified as being unoccupied.

As a result, you may require unoccupied property insurance if you have a property standing for more than 30 days in between lettings or if you’re having building work done to it, for example.

Even if you are not a landlord, if your home is going to be unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days, then this may invalidate your existing home insurance.

If, for example, you close your property down while you take an extended holiday, or you have a Probate property, then the same conditions would typically apply.

Compare unoccupied property insurance

Not all let property insurance offers the same degree of cover and that also applies to unoccupied property insurance.

For example, some policies may offer only market value replacement for your contents whereas others may provide new-for-old replacement. There may be a slight cost difference between to the two but one may suit your requirements better than another.

Fitness for purpose

Once you have reviewed and clarified your requirements, you’ll then be in a position to sit down and look at the options.

If you compare unoccupied property insurance options you’ll typically be able to find a policy that’s suitable for your needs and at a price you consider to be cost-effective.