Why might I need an unoccupied property insurance quote?

Posted: 3rd Jun 2014

Here are a few FAQs on the subject on an unoccupied property insurance quote.

Why might an unoccupied property insurance quote be required?

Typical providers of landlord insurance recognise that from time to time, your property may be unoccupied.

For example, if you are between lettings or are redecorating your property, then it may be standing unoccupied overnight for a short period.

However, once that period without occupation passes 30 days (typically) – then your insurance policy may deem your property to be long-term unoccupied and that may invalidate any existing let property insurance you have.

This position may also apply to a typical owner-occupier home buildings and contents policy.

Unoccupied property insurance (sometimes known as empty property cover) is typically available to cover such situations.

What if my property is unoccupied outside of my control?

Typically, that would make no difference.

For example, if your property has stood empty for some time pending the arrival of new tenants and they changed their mind at the last moment, if that took you over the 30 days then your property would still be designated as unoccupied.

What if I leave my rental property fully furnished while it is unoccupied?

Typical landlord insurance defines unoccupied as meaning unoccupied (i.e. with nobody in residence).

Whether or not the property is furnished may prove to be irrelevant.

Why do insurers do this?

Statistics may suggest that unoccupied properties are more at risk from things such as leaking pipes or storm damage, simply because there is nobody present to notice and rectify the problem before it becomes serious.

Properties that are unoccupied may also prove to be far more attractive to thieves and vandals, as their chances of being disturbed will be considerably reduced.

As the risks are higher, insurers typically require a specific cover to be put into place.

What about if I slept in my unoccupied property for the occasional night?

Different insurers may have different definitions of exactly what occupied means versus unoccupied.

You may find that some policies specifically require formal tenancy to be in place for the property to be considered occupied, however, the position may at times be complicated.

As space does not permit a full discussion of all possible combinations of circumstances, we would be only too happy to offer our services in helping to clarify your particular situation, before you applied for an unoccupied property insurance quote.