If your home is going to be left unoccupied for any length of time, it's important you have the right level of home insurance in place. If your home was damaged by flood, fire, vandalised or squatted in whilst you where away, having ‘unoccupied home insurance’ would give you peace of mind that your home is covered.
As a homeowner, you should have building and contents cover in place, but you may not know if there are any exemptions regarding the policy, should your home be left unoccupied for a prolonged period.
Recent government statistics show that there are about 250,000 empty (unoccupied for more than six months) properties in the UK, and they are unoccupied for a variety of reasons. This is equivalent to £43bn worth of housing stock.
Why homes might be left unoccupied for more than 30 days
- Property is awaiting sale or probate.
- House is extended or refurbished.
- Extended medical procedure or long-term care
What you may not know about your home insurance
- Maximum length unoccupied is usually 60 days
- Some insurers only permit 30 days left unoccupied
- Unlikely to get a pay out if property is left unoccupied longer than policy stated limit
Whatever your reason for leaving your home empty, it is very important to insure the property just in case something goes wrong.
Length of unoccupied home insurance policies
Most insurers will allow you to arrange three, six, nine or 12-month policies which gives you the opportunity to buy the right length for your time away from your property. This is especially helpful if you know that you are going to be away in your holiday home for several months, on a long cruise or waiting for your house to have important but lengthy building works completed.
There are options to extend the policy, such as your property taking longer than the original length of time you expected to sell. For properties which are listed or have a thatched roof, you may need additional or specialist cover whilst your property is empty.
If you are planning on being away from your property for an extended period and your home insurance is due for renewal, contact our team and they will find the best policy for your and your home.