Why might you need cheap unoccupied property insurance?

Posted: 3rd Jun 2014

When your property is empty for periods in excess of 30 consecutive days or more you may need to purchase cheap unoccupied property insurance to ensure that your property has continuity of insurance cover.

Why?

When your property has tenants in place your buy to let property insurance policy may offer appropriate protection for the set of circumstances that may arise.

When your property is untenanted on the other hand, the property may face risks that just may not be covered by your policy.

You may find, for example, that a small problem like a leaking drip of water or a broken window may, over time, become worse or allow the ingress of the weather with the end result being that the damage caused may be a lot worse than it may have been if tenants were in place and the problem was spotted and dealt with earlier.

This is why insurance providers typically recognise that the risk profile associated with an unoccupied property is significantly different to that seen with a property that is occupied.

Of course, insurance providers typically accept that your property may be unoccupied from time to time as part of normal events. Examples of such occurrences may include things such as holidays, changeovers between tenants or possibly short periods where you have decided your property needs a quick refresh before it is let again.

That is where the 30-day period comes from.

Past that time you may need to consider looking for a cheap unoccupied property insurance policy, as simple landlords insurance may become invalid after that period.

Such policies are available although they may place certain obligations upon you, such as the need to regularly visit your property while it is unoccupied in order to attend to regular preventative maintenance. It may be necessary to keep a diary of the dates and times that you visited and a note of any work you undertook.

It may be important to recognise also that cheap unoccupied property insurance may be required irrespective of the reason your property is standing unoccupied. Even in situations where you have been unable to influence events (e.g. expected tenants failed to arrive) your insurance may be at risk if you go over the 30 day period.

As with other forms of insurance cover, it is typically correct to say that what may be cheap unoccupied property insurance for one landlord may not prove to be so for you, so shopping around to find the deal that seems appropriate for you is typically important.