Getting to grips with unoccupied property insurance

February 17, 2012

Landlords Insurance

Here are some of the basic points to understand regarding unoccupied property insurance:

  • this form of cover may be required in circumstances where your property sits unoccupied for more than a number of days as specified in your policy – this may be around 30 or 45 days or even as long as 90 depending on the policy and the circumstances;
  • should such a situation come to pass, then your standard landlords insurance may become invalid;
  • unoccupied means that nobody is living there – it does not mean empty and this condition may apply even if your property remains fully furnished;
  • the position may be as outlined above, whether you have cheap landlords insurance, landlords contents insurance or buy to let buildings insurance (it may even apply to owner-occupier home buildings and contents insurance policies);
  • typically the reason the property is standing unoccupied will not be a factor, so you may find yourself in this position if you have an extended gap between lettings or your property is tied up in divorce or probate proceedings etc;
  • this form of empty property insurance policy may provide you with continuity of cover but it may also bring with it certain additional requirements for the policy holder;
  • these additional requirements may include things such as needing to periodically inspect the property and dealing with any problems discovered, keeping all external areas in a good tidy condition so that passers-by may have no reason to suspect that the property is unoccupied and possibly putting some internal lights on automatic timer switches;
  • it may be advisable to keep some form of written record of your inspection visits to the property and any of the above types of action or remedial activity you may have conducted during the period;
  • if you do not wish to find that your insurance cover has been prejudiced by your property drifting over the maximum number of permissible days for an unoccupied property, it may be worthwhile finding out more about unoccupied property insurance.
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