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Unoccupied Property Insurance

Unoccupied property insurance keeps your asset protected where your standard buildings insurance does not.

As a property owner there can be many reasons why your property has become unoccupied – you may be renovating it, rebuilding it, trying to sell the property after a relative’s death, selling the property following other personal changes in your circumstances, working away from home on business for an extended number of days, or you may be a landlord waiting for your next tenants to move in.

Whatever your position, if your property is unoccupied for typically from 30 days to 45 days or more and consecutively, then any existing buildings insurance policy may become restricted in terms of the protection offered – or the insurance could even lapse, leaving you financially vulnerable if something happens to your property.

Some examples of the policy benefits of our unoccupied property insurance include:

  • insurance quotes from £82.13 for 12 months cover;
  • 3 month and 6 month policies available and three levels of cover – so you can choose the insurance policy that most suits your needs and your budget;
  • cover against fire, flood, storm, subsidence and theft;
  • property owners liability insurance up to £2,000,000 (up to £5,000,000 optional);
  • contents insurance if required;
  • subsidence, ground heave or landslip (unless specifically excluded at the quote stage);
  • flexible insurance policy terms (for example, if renovation works are taking longer than expected, typically the policy term can be extended).

Unoccupied Property Insurance

Cover4LetProperty offers online quotations for your unoccupied property with companies with whom we have arranged exclusive schemes – meaning you typically can access insurance deals not always available on the High Street.

In addition, we have made sure that our policy cover offers you a range of benefits depending upon the level of protection you are looking for.

Cover4LetProperty is an insurance business regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is a long established company – we have been helping customers with insurance since 1946, providing what we believe is cost-effective, comprehensive insurance protection. To see how we can help you, please browse our site, or ‘phone us on 01702 606301. We will be very happy to help.

Unoccupied home insurance FAQS

Here we share some of our frequently asked questions about empty home insurance. If you have a question you would like answered; any other information on our unoccupied property insurance; or for a home insurance unoccupied quote, then we’d love to help! Simply ‘phone 01702 606301.

Please also read our free and useful property guides on all things property and insurance related here.

How long can I leave my house unoccupied?

The amount of time that you can leave your property unoccupied without informing your insurer and without buying empty house insurance depends on the terms and conditions of your current home or other property insurance policy.

If your home will have no one living there for a number of consecutive days, then your existing insurance cover may become severely limited or even lapse altogether. Typically, this may range from 30-45 consecutive days – so generally long enough to cover your annual 2 or 3 week holidays or, if you are a landlord, enough time for your existing tenants to move out and new ones to move in.

Speak to your insurance provider if you need clarification on how long your standard home insurance allows your property to stand unoccupied before the cover lapses or is restricted.

Do I need insurance for empty houses being renovated?

Yes you do. Even if you will have tradespeople working in your house during the day, it will still be classed as an unoccupied property and specialist insurance will be required. This is because your property will be vulnerable to extra risks – such as having expensive equipment on site and the property undergoing structural changes that may uncover other issues.

Because of this, you will need specialist renovation insurance that includes unoccupied property insurance.

Among the many useful guides on our website is our Guide to Renovating which you may wish to read for further information on both renovation and insurance.

What reasons cause a property to be unoccupied?

Residential and commercial properties can remain unoccupied for various reasons, and understanding these factors is essential for property owners and investors. These reasons typically may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • for sale or rent: One common reason for property vacancy is that it is actively on the market for sale or rent. Property owners may need time to find the right buyer or tenant, leaving the space temporarily unoccupied.
  • new construction or renovation: Properties undergoing construction or renovation are often unoccupied during the process. Whether it’s a new build or a refurbishment, the property may need to be vacant for safety reasons and to allow for construction work to proceed without disruption;
  • relocation or travel: Owners may leave their properties unoccupied when they relocate for work, travel extensively, or spend an extended period away from home. In such cases, maintaining the property may be a challenge, leading to temporary vacancy;
  • inheritance or probate: In the case of inheritance or probate, properties may remain unoccupied during legal processes or until decisions are made about the property’s future, such as whether to sell, rent, or transfer ownership;
  • financial reasons: Economic factors, such as financial difficulties or repossession, can result in property vacancy. Owners facing financial challenges may find it challenging to maintain or sell their properties, leading to periods of unoccupancy;
  • divorce or separation: Properties may be unoccupied due to divorce or separation, where decisions about the property’s future are pending. Legal proceedings and negotiations can extend the period of vacancy;
  • business closure or relocation: Commercial properties may be unoccupied if a business closes or relocates. The process of finding a new tenant or buyer may take time, leaving the space empty during the transition;
  • strategic investment: Some property owners intentionally leave their properties unoccupied as part of a strategic investment plan. This could involve holding onto a property for future value appreciation or development.

What does unoccupied property insurance cover?

Empty property insurance is designed to restore to the empty building (and, if required its contents) as comprehensive a level of protection as you enjoyed when the property was in continuous occupation – in other words, the structure and fabric of the building and the risk of loss or damage to its contents may once again be covered.

Even though your house or flat may be unoccupied, for instance, as the owner or landlord you may still be held liable if a member of the public or visitor to the premises suffers an injury or has their property damaged. An important element of unoccupied insurance, therefore, is to maintain your indemnity against such claims, typically with a cover of at least £2 million.

There are policies available that provide just the very basic of cover – this is often known as FLEEA insurance (fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake and aircraft). They will generally include public liability insurance too.

How long can a house be vacant?

When you buy unoccupied house insurance, typically you will stipulate the period of time that you want the additional cover in place – this could be a month , six months or 12 months depending on your circumstances. If things change, however, and you need the cover for a longer or shorter period of time, then speak to your unoccupied property insurance provider.

An insurance business understands that circumstances don’t always go to plan – such as with renovation works – and therefore generally can offer flexible unoccupied home insurance.

How is theft from a property defined for insurance purposes?

What is important to understand is that broadly speaking, an insurance business regards theft as someone taking an insured item that does not belong to him without permission. But unoccupied home insurance policy wordings and their terms and conditions may vary, meaning there is no one uniform definition of theft that applies to all policies in all circumstances. What qualifies as theft in one case may not in another. If you are unsure about any aspect of your insurance cover, please feel free to contact us.

Holiday homes and unoccupancy

If you have a holiday let, there may be times when it stands empty for several weeks at a time. It is important that your holiday home insurance provides unoccupied property cover during these vacant periods. At Cover4LetProperty, all our holiday home insurance policies provide cover for periods when the property is unoccupied (subject to certain conditions being met).

Check out our Guide to UK Holiday Homes which provides some useful further information, on insuring your second home and holiday homes in general.

House insurance unoccupied terms and conditions – what are they?

When you have an unoccupied home insurance in place, under the terms of your cover you will need to meet certain obligations to ensure its safety and security. This is to help minimise any risks of loss or damage caused by an insured event.

For example, your insurance policy may state that you (or a representative) makes regular, logged visits to the premises to ensure that there are no maintenance or other issues. For example, a leaky pipe, unchecked and unrepaired, can cause extensive damage to a property, meaning you would probably need to make a claim.

In some situations you may be required to keep the heating on at a minimum temperature to ensure water pipes don’t freeze and then burst. In other cases you may need to switch off the electricity or gas.

Different empty property insurance policies may require you to have different obligations – make sure you fully understand what yours are and what you need to do to comply. Failure to do so could see any claim you make under your insurance policy rejected.

4 top reasons to choose Cover4LetProperty for your unoccupied home insurance

At Cover4LetProperty you can feel assured that you are dealing with a reputable, established business. We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), firm reference number 309694 and offer both an online insurance quote service as well as quotes over the telephone.

As a specialist provider of property insurance, we work with some of the leading insurers to provide you with what we believe is the most suitable and cost-effective property insurance for an unoccupied home. We also have access to many deals not available on the High Street, so you have a wide choice of cover options to choose from.

Our service is also supported by the many useful blogs and guides on this website which we hope you find helpful.

We pride ourselves on our easy to use quote and buy online insurance service as well as our consistently 5 star rated customer service.*

*Check out our Feefo ratings which rate our business service and team as 5 star – these are independent reviews supplied by genuine customers. Simply follow the link from our homepage.