Do I need to let my home insurance provider know?
Unfortunately, it’s a sad truth that unoccupied homes are more at risk of dangers such as fire, theft and water damage (amongst other things) than properties that are visited on a daily basis. Equally, if something were to happen at the property (such as a leaky pipe), it would take longer for someone to notice the problem and mitigate the issue, during which time extensive damage could be caused.
Therefore, it’s very important to notify your insurer if your property is going to be unoccupied for a prolonged period of time, as they will usually have certain terms and conditions that apply for unoccupied properties. Check your policy documents to find out exactly what’s covered, as not adhering to the policy terms and conditions could have a negative impact on a future claim.
If your property is unoccupied, your insurer will usually ask you to do the following:
- Secure the property against intruders
- Arrange for the property to be visited on a weekly basis (this could be a friend, relative or managing agent)
- Collect post regularly to prevent a pile-up, as this can pose a fire risk
- Switch off all services at the mains, apart from the electricity where it’s required to maintain any fire or intruder alarm systems
- Drain the water and heating system