Unoccupied Home Insurance

There are several perfectly valid reasons for a property becoming unoccupied for a period of time, yet it can be quite difficult negotiating cover with your normal home insurance supplier. Such instances include people who are taken abroad with their employment, properties which are second or holiday homes, properties left empty through the death of the occupier whilst probate is completed, and homes where extensive renovation work require the occupiers to remain off-site for a certain period of time. In almost all of these instances, the risk of theft and damage is vastly increased and usually a specialist insurer will need to be located.

Most regular home insurance policies will only cover homes uninhabited for a maximum of one month, so even long holidays could be a problem. Failing to notify your insurer may put you in breach of your policy terms, therefore any buildings damage or burglary that occurs in your absence may not be covered. Providing you explain the circumstances in advance, many insurers will continue cover for longer on the understanding that certain conditions are met and the acceptance that some cover will be reduced or removed, such as water damage, malicious damage, and even contents theft.

Specialist unoccupied property insurers will insure empty homes with ‘full peril’ building cover and often offer bespoke policies for second homes. An unoccupied policy normally only covers fixtures, fittings and white goods. A second-home policy usually insures contents up to a certain amount since it is assumed that most owners will have removed valuable goods out of temptations way. Insurers to try include Adrian Flux, Blackfriars Group, Zurich and Towergate, or contact the British Insurance Brokers’ Association.