Top insurance tips for unoccupied house UK

According to the charity Empty Homes, more than 700,000 residential properties in England are left unoccupied. If you own a property that has become unoccupied, you probably understand better than anybody else how difficult it can be to get a suitable quote to insure it.

Many mainstream insurers simply won’t cover an unoccupied building. However, specialist insurers offer products specifically designed to provide realistic unoccupied house cover at affordable prices. Here’re top tips to help you find the best insurance for your unoccupied house.

1. Changing occupancy status of your property

If you own a property and think it will be unoccupied for more than a month, it is absolutely important that you inform your standard house insurer of the occupancy status of you property. Most insurance policies state that your property must not be unoccupied for more than 30 days, which means you may find yourself not covered at all if you fail to disclose the occupancy status of your property.

If, however, you do disclose the occupancy status of your property to your insurer they may be willing to arrange some form of cover for you, depending on how long the house will be unoccupied. So, be upfront with you insurer so you don’t completely invalidate your standard home insurance policy.

2. Finding the best unoccupied house insurance cover

If your existing insurer is good enough to provide cover for your unoccupied house upon disclosure of the occupancy status of your property, it will likely only be for a short period of times usually no more than three months. The terms under this arrangement will typically not include cover for important things like malicious damage, escape of water and theft.

To get a more comprehensive insurance cover for your unoccupied house, you may have to seek the services of specialist unoccupied insurers who will cover the property against more peril and for longer periods of time. Specialist unoccupied insurers like British Insurance, Endsleigh and Towergate offer comprehensive policies that can be purchased for three, six, nine or 12 months with options to extend for longer. Many of these specialised insurers can also be found online by simply doing a quick search on Google or other search engines.

3. Choosing your unoccupied house insurance policy

As an owner of an unoccupied property, you should know that not all insurance policies offered for unoccupied house provide the same degree of protection. It is, therefore, important that you do your research thoroughly and compare different unoccupied house insurance offers online and offline to ensure you get the best policy for you.

If you think your property will be empty for longer than the 30 days specified by regular insurers but much less than a year, take a short-term unoccupied home insurance cover as opposed to a full year's worth of unoccupied home insurance cover.

Short-term unoccupied home insurance cover can start from as little as three months and save you significant sums of money that you would have otherwise spent on an unnecessary full year’s worth of insurance.

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