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What is unoccupied property insurance?

Unoccupied property insurance is designed to insure a premises against various risks whilst it is empty.

Available as either a short term or long term policy. Empty property cover is often purchased whilst its owner awaits a new tenant, a sale or whilst it is renovated.

Do I need empty property insurance?

If you are responsible for an unoccupied property, then yes, you do require a policy to cover it. Standard building insurance is not sufficient for vacant premises and will not cover any unoccupied premises.

When it comes to vacant premises, there are different risks involved such as theft or fire. These risks are typically less prevalent in occupied properties.

What does empty building insurance cover?

Property Rebuild Costs

Much like standard premises insurance, your policy will cover the cost to repair or rebuild the premises should it become damaged or subject to complete destruction.

Vacant properties are at higher risk of both fire and theft as there is generally no one monitoring them whilst empty.

Property Owners Liability

Regardless of whether you are at the premises or not, as a property owner, you are responsible for its maintenance and ensuring it is safe at all times.

Property owners liability is there to cover you against claims arising from third parties who may injure themselves on your property.

Property Contents

The ceilings, walls, windows and floors are all covered under the building rebuild aspect of your policy. The fixture and fittings such as the carpet, curtains and furniture are not.

Contents insurance is there as an addon to ensure that should you lose the contents of your unoccupied premises, they will be replaced by your insurer.

Vacant properties are an easy target for squatters. In the event your empty property is taken of by squatters, legal cover will step in to cover the costs of removing them.

It will also cover claims arising from trespassers or identity theft.

Do landlords need unoccupied property insurance?

Landlords insurance is not to different from a home insurance policy. Given the nature of letting to tenants, it is expected at times that your property will be vacant. Because of this, landlord insurance generally allows for a property to remain empty for up to 3 months.

If you are a landlord who’s property is going to be empty for longer than 3 months, then yes, empty building insurance should be purchased.

A quick guide to unoccupied property insurance for landlords

As a landlord, it is inevitable that there will eventually be a period when your property will lie empty. Leaving a property unoccupied for any length of time is a risk, but it is possible to protect yourself with an unoccupied property insurance policy. We have comprised a quick guide to help you understand the details of an unoccupied property insurance policy.

The 30-day rule

Most landlords believe their property is protected by their standard insurance policy, but in many cases it does need to be arranged separately. This is because vacant properties are considered to be more vulnerable than those with tenants, so most landlords insurance policies will not cover properties which are empty for more than 30 days. If the property is only empty for a few days, it is unlikely you will need to arrange additional cover.

Repairs and maintenance work

All properties will require maintenance work or repairs, which are usually able to be carried out while a tenant is present. Larger scale projects may cause the property to lie empty for a few months, which will mean unoccupied property insurance is required. Flood damage is a regular cause for extensive repairs as the property will need to dry out before work can be completed.

Vandalism and crime

It is a fact that empty properties are more likely to be targeted by vandals and squatters, which can lead to large repair bills. Burglars are also known for targeting empty properties which they know are fully furnished with expensive items, such as televisions and other electrical items. Anything stolen during the empty period will not be covered by the contents insurance within the landlord’s policy, if it occurs outside of the 30-day rule. It is also unlikely a standard landlord insurance policy will cover the cost of structural repairs if the damage occurred after the 30-day threshold.

As a leading provider of unoccupied property insurance our professionals are always available to answer your insurance queries, so that you know whether your property is fully protected. If you would like to find out more about our landlord insurance services, please contact our team today.