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If your property has been empty for over 30 days, you may find that it’s no longer covered by a standard home insurance policy and you need to find more specific cover. Our team of experts will approach a specialist panel of insurers to get you a quote, and we’re usually able to provide immediate cover. We will also provide you with:
We are able to provide buildings cover whilst your property is unoccupied, including cover against risks such as fire, lightning, earthquake or explosion. The cover provided will depend on your unique circumstances, so please check the details of your quote to find out what’s covered.
Up to £2 million property owners’ liability cover to protect you against compensation claims raised by third parties that have been injured as a result of the property not being maintained, such as a tile falling off the roof and injuring a passer-by or a visitor tripping over a broken stair.
Some of our policies can protect your buildings and contents against theft, attempted theft and malicious damage - although we don’t cover claims by deception, for example, you give you keys to a contractor who then steals from your home. Please check the details of your quote to find out what’s covered.
Take out unoccupied legal cover to get up to £50,000 compensation for solicitors and barrister’s fees, court costs and your opponent’s costs that result from legal action carried out to evict squatters or because of property damage, nuisance or trespass.
Finding the right unoccupied home insurance for your property can be a long-winded and complicated process. The longer your home is unoccupied, the chance of theft increases, which is why home insurance for empty properties is important for keeping covered. We’ve taken the time to answer some of our customers’ most frequently asked questions so you have all the information you need when you go to get a quote.
Home and landlord insurance policies will usually only cover between 30 and 90 days unoccupancy, which means that, after this time, you’ll need to either sell the property or find more suitable insurance cover. There are lots of different types of specialist home insurance available that will provide extended covers for certain risks, so it’s important to make sure your property is properly protected.
At what point do I need to let my home insurance provider know my property is unoccupied?
It’s important that you contact your home or landlord insurance provider as soon as possible if you know that your property is going to be unoccupied long-term, as not doing so could invalidate your policy in the event of a claim.
Your existing home insurance provider may be able to provide full cover while the property is unoccupied, but if not you may need to seek out cover elsewhere. Check the terms of your home insurance policy to understand how long your property can be unoccupied without additional terms being imposed, such as cover restrictions or visitation requirements.
Not all home insurance policies will cover properties that will be unoccupied for extended periods of time, so it’s important to check your policy documents if you think your property might be affected by any of the scenarios noted above. Unoccupied properties, unfortunately, are a slightly higher risk than occupied ones for a number of reasons.
For starters, there’s no-one at the property every day, which means that small issues could quickly become big problems without anyone there to keep it in check – for example, a leaky roof or faulty boiler. Unoccupied properties are also particularly susceptible to thieves and vandals, meaning that not all home insurance providers are willing (or able) to cover this risk.
Endsleigh’s unoccupied property insurance will protect your property against fire, flood, subsidence and a number of other risks so you can feel confident that your property is protected whilst you’re not there.
Unoccupied home insurance will usually cover:
There are many reasons why a property might become unoccupied. Sometimes it’s a sudden change in circumstances, meaning you have to find cover quickly to make sure the property is fully protected. Other times, it’s a long term decision, meaning you have plenty of time to plan and research the best property insurance for your vacant home. Situations where your property might become unoccupied include:
As a non-standard home insurance broker, we’re able to find cover for properties under a number of different circumstances. We provide cover for 12 months for unoccupied properties, although if your property becomes occupied mid-term we can update your policy to reflect this.
Follow these three simple steps to get an unoccupied property insurance quote with Endsleigh. First, contact our specialist team today on 0333 234 1507 or arrange for us to call you by filling out our online form. Second, please tell us about your unoccupied property so we can find you our most competitive price. And finally, let us know when you want to go ahead and we'll get your unoccupied home insurance policy set up.
Not looking for unoccupied house insurance? These are just some of the different non-standard home insurance policies available:
If your property is empty for a prolonged period of time – usually over 30 days – then it will be considered unoccupied by insurers. This can either be due to a gap in tenants, a property going through probate or simply because the house is pending sale or the owner hasn’t decided what to do with it.
A property is not considered unoccupied if it will only be empty short-term - for example, your tenant goes on holiday or spends weekends elsewhere. Check with your insurance provider to find out how long your property can be empty before it is considered unoccupied.
Once your property is unoccupied, your insurance provider may impose terms and conditions to your policy to ensure the property is kept safe whilst it’s empty. For example, your insurer may request that you visit the property weekly to pick up any mail and check that the property is secure. They may also request that you turn off any utilities to lower the risk of fire or flood.
We are unable to cover claims for your unoccupied property under the following circumstances:
Damage or theft following unforced entry
If your windows or doors are left unlocked or unsecured which results in theft or damage, this will not be covered under your policy.
While we are able to provide buildings insurance for empty properties while renovation works are being carried out, we are unable to provide cover for the renovation works themselves.
The cost of your unoccupied house insurance will vary between providers, depending on a number of factors. These include:
Sometimes, but not always.
The reason unoccupied property insurance can sometimes be more expensive is because properties that don’t have someone visiting them every day can be considered a higher risk by insurers – this is also why some home insurance providers aren’t able to offer cover for empty properties.
For example, if there were to be a water leak or break-in at an unoccupied property, it could be a few days or even weeks before the damage is noticed and mitigated, potentially increasing the cost of any resulting claim.
For this reason, it will usually be a requirement of your empty house insurance that you visit the property regularly to check for signs of damage, and collect any post to prevent the risk of a fire. You should also try to keep the property well maintained while it is unoccupied.
However, there are also ways to make your unoccupied house insurance cheaper – you can find out more about this below.
While unoccupied house insurance can sometimes be more expensive than standard home insurance, there are also some easy ways to keep your costs down:
Looking after the property and checking for signs of damage will help to mitigate the risk of a claim. This in turn will save you money on potential excess payments, as well as protecting any no claims bonus you may have accrued
Increasing your voluntary excess could help to decrease the cost of your overall premium, although some excesses will be set by the insurer (such as flood or subsidence excesses).
Having some additional security features, such as burglar alarms and strong door locks, could also help to decrease the cost of your unoccupied home insurance.
Make sure your rebuild value is accurate before getting a quote - you can find out more about calculating your rebuild value below. You should also remove any high value items such as expensive jewellery, as this can also affect your insurance premium.
The amount of cover you require for your unoccupied property will depend on the rebuild value of your property, which is the amount it would cost to rebuild your property from the ground up following a total loss.
We are unable to provide advice on the rebuild value of a property. However if you’re unsure, the Association of British Insurers provides an online rebuild costs calculator.
For some property types, such as listed buildings, you may need a formal survey to ensure the rebuild cost is accurate.
If a property is unoccupied, this means there are no occupants or tenants living at the property, but there are still contents or furnishings inside.
If a property is vacant, this means that it is completely empty, with no occupants or contents.
Endsleigh’s unoccupied property insurance can provide cover for both unoccupied and vacant properties.
If the property has contents, you’ll just need to let us know the total value of any furniture and furnishings when you get a quote.
Yes - if your property will be unoccupied for more than 30 days while it’s going through probate, our unoccupied home insurance can provide cover for this.
Usually properties will be left unoccupied during probate, which can increase the risk of theft, malicious damage or maintenance issues at your property (such as faulty pipes).
Therefore, if the property will be unoccupied for more than 30 days while it’s going through probate, you may need to arrange specialist unoccupied property insurance for this.
This insurance policy will be provided in the names of the executors, so when probate is finalised you will just need to contact your insurance provider to update the details of the policy, if you still require cover.
If your property will be unoccupied for more than 30 or 60 days while it’s undergoing renovation works, then you may require a specialist home renovation insurance policy.
You may also require additional cover if works are extensive, or if expensive equipment and materials will be kept at the property during building works.
Find out more about Endsleigh’s renovation home insurance.
Unfortunately we are unable to provide cover for commercial properties (such as shops or offices) that will be unoccupied for long periods of time under our unoccupied house insurance policies.
It’s important that you contact your home or landlord insurance provider as soon as possible if you know that your property is going to be unoccupied long-term. Not doing so could invalidate your policy in the event of a claim.
Most property insurance policies will allow for up to 30 days unoccupancy – any longer than this, and you may require more specialist cover that your existing insurer cannot provide.
If your policy becomes occupied again during the policy term, please contact us so we can talk you through your policy options.
If you have sold the property and no longer require cover, we are able cancel your policy mid-term - although you may be required to pay an administration or cancellation fee.
We work closely with leading specialist insurers to ensure we can provide you with flexible insurance for unoccupied homes. With over 15 years' experience insuring non-standard homes, our expert non-standard property team will take the time to understand your unique situation and provide you with comprehensive insurance options for your unoccupied house.
Need some quick tips or guidance? Read more on the blog!