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Unoccupied property insurance

We don’t compare unoccupied home insurance - here are some companies[1] offering quotes[2]

  • Towergate is one of the UK's largest insurance brokers, specialising in cover you really need. Choose a three, six, nine or 12 month policy so you're only paying for the length of cover you really need. Visit the website and buy online today.

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  • Nova Insurance, established in 1995, is a nationwide company providing a range of unoccupied property insurance cover from leading UK insurers. It specialises in helping businesses and individuals find the right level of cover for their unoccupied property.

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  • Adrian Flux are a non-standard specialist broker, established in 1974. Priding itself on finding solutions for difficult to insure properties, Adrian Flux understands the values and all too often stress associated with insuring unoccupied properties. Visit the website to find out how they can help.

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  • HomeProtect (underwritten by AXA) provides home insurance for homes that are left empty for more than 30 days. Its policies cater for a wide range of situations including empty for sale, homes under probate, properties normally let or properties undergoing renovation. Cover typically includes up to £500k for building repair or rebuild and £50k legal cover for a range of circumstances.

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What is unoccupied home insurance?

Unoccupied home insurance covers your home if it’s left empty for longer than your standard policy allows. Standard home insurance policies typically cover an empty house for 30 or 60 days, but the time frame can be longer, or shorter – so check your policy wording to be certain.

Unlike standard home policies, specialist unoccupied home insurance will cover a vacant property for between three, six, nine or 12 months, with the option to extend if required.

If you need longer than 12 months, you can find quotes for a new policy towards the end of your original term.

unoccupied home insurance

When do you need unoccupied home insurance?

An empty property policy provides cover for the building and/or contents in properties that are left vacant for 30 days or more.

Your property will be empty when you’re:

  • Awaiting probate
  • Awaiting sale or occupation
  • Undergoing refurbishment or renovation
  • The occupier is absent because it’s a second home, they’ve gone travelling, have been hospitalised, or taken into care

Tell your home insurer when your house will be empty and how long for.

Your policy may cover your vacant house, but if not, you can make alternative arrangements so you’re not running the risk of invalidating your cover.

“Don’t run the risk of leaving it uninsured,” said GoCompare’s home insurance expert, Ryan Fulthorpe.

“Always double check with your home insurance provider whether you'll be covered past this time period and to what level and, if you're not satisfied, consider unoccupied property insurance.”

If your home insurance will cover you, check that it’s comprehensive insurance and read the exclusions.

Some policies might ask that you have someone come and check on the home at regular intervals, at least every 14 days.

If you make a claim and the insurance policy is unsuitable for your circumstances, you might not be covered at all.

Ask a neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your property, water the plants and pick up post on a regular basis, dissuading potential thieves

What will unoccupied house insurance cover?

The level of cover that you receive will depend on the policy that you take out, but you should think about protection against:

  • Storm damage
  • Flooding
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandals
  • Squatters
  • Property owner liability, for example if a tree from your property falls and damages your neighbour's house

Unoccupied home insurance exclusions

Every policy has exclusions - so read your terms and conditions - but common examples are:

  • Loss or damage when windows or doors are left open or unlocked
  • Damage caused by extensions and structural repairs
  • Damage caused by contractors (but contractors should have their own insurance)

How much does it cost to insure an unoccupied house?

When insurers calculate your home insurance or unoccupied property insurance premium, they consider:

  • The value of the property
  • How long you want the cover to last
  • Why the house is unoccupied
  • Home security  that you have in place
  • Your address

Save money when you buy unoccupied property insurance

Preparing your property to be left empty could help to keep it safe and save you money on insurance.

  1. Do some maintenance

    Keep the property in a good state of repair to reduce the likelihood of a claim, but if something does go wrong, the property is in a good state of repair and the insurer will honour your policy

  2. Pay attention to pipes and heating

    Use a controlled heating system to stop the pipes bursting in cold weather, or make sure utilities are switched off and the water system is drained

  3. Make your home secure

    Put away valuable items in a secure place, in a safe, or remove them from the empty property. Fit and use approved locks on the windows and doors, and get a burglar alarm

“The security of your property will have a huge effect on your premium, so make sure that every entry point to your empty home is secure
“If you have an alarm, make sure that it's activated when you're away or it could invalidate your insurance”
Ryan Fulthorpe, GoCompare’s home insurance expert

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Page last reviewed: 22 July 2020

[1]We do not offer a full comparison service on unoccupied home insurance at Gocompare.com but instead have provided links to some companies that offer unoccupied home insurance. These companies are not listed in an order that indicates that one is better than another but are instead ordered in line with our commercial arrangement with each one. Please remember, as different companies offer different policies, it is up to you to choose the one that best suits your needs

[2]Gocompare.com introduces you to Nova Insurance, HomeProtect which is a trading name of Avantia Insurance Limited, Towergate Insurance and Adrian Flux Insurance Services to provide unoccupied home insurance quotes. All providers are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Gocompare.com's relationship with Nova Insurance, Avantia Insurance Limited, Towergate Insurance and Adrian Flux Insurance Services is limited to that of a business partnership, no common ownership or control rights exist between us. Please note, we cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites and by using the links provided to access these separate websites you will be subject to the terms of use applying to those sites

*Out of 369 policies on Defaqto, 98% of standard buildings insurance policies had an unoccupancy period of 60 days or less. Last checked 11 August 2020

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