Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 2 weeks ago 35
If your own residential or landlord property then you need to be sure you are insured when the property is empty. You’ll find in most insurance policies that unoccupancy is not well catered for and could end up costing you thousands of pounds in a claim due to small print.
Here’s Property 118’s guide to what you need to know about unoccupied property insurance:
1: Most policies will allow you 30-days unoccupancy before you need to notify insurers or your level of cover will drop. So if a tenant leaves and you replace them within 30-days then cover of some description should remain in place. Just check your policy wording to be sure, all insurers are different.
Property 118’s insurance partner can offer 12-months unoccupied insurance if required, with basic or full cover depending on your requirements.
2: If you buy a property for letting, unless it is bought with sitting tenants, then it is most likely to be unoccupied at the start of your ownership. Even if that is just for a week or a couple of months while you search for tenants, you need to start your insurance policy as an unoccupied policy. The days of grace for landlords 30/45/60 or 90 quoted on documents do not come into force until you have a tenant leave. They do not normally apply to the start of a new policy.
Don’t worry though, if you buy through Property 118, it’s very easy to change your unoccupied insurance to landlord insurance once you have a tenant in place.
3: Your landlord insurance will normally allow for 30/45/60 or 90 days unoccupancy as standard. Most policies will be 30-days. This grace period is only allowed if a tenant leaves, as mentioned above, you cannot start a landlord insurance policy with an empty property – that’s unoccupied property insurance you need.
When unoccupied under the policy grace period for 30/45/60 or 90 days, pay particular attention to your policy wording. Most policies will reduce cover to the very basic Fire, Lightning, Explosion and Aircraft cover only. So if someone breaks in and damages the property or steals contents, you will most likely not be covered, just check your policy wording to be sure.
If you require higher level insurance to cover theft, malicious damage, escape of water or flood whilst unoccupied, Property 118’s insurance partners can deliver that – it is called full cover. It too can change to Landlord Insurance when you are ready.
4: Unoccupied property insurance is not normally expensive. Sorry to debunk that myth, but with Property 118’s insurance partner, the cost of unoccupied insurance is often a lot less than you may imagine – starting at £165.60 for a year for full cover. And when you change to landlord insurance you are not charged any cancellation fees. If you do cancel and go elsewhere, you get a pro-rate to the day refund subject to a small £35 fee. In many cases, unoccupied insurance can be similar or lower price than normal insurance.
5: Are you doing renovations and the property is empty for the duration? You will most likely need unoccupied insurance if the property is empty and renovations are usually easily incorporated by Property 118’s insurance partner. It takes a couple of minutes extra to complete the quote, that’s all.
It takes less than ten minutes on the phone to complete a quote – call 01832 735388 and ask for Jason who deals with the Property 118 clients – or you can fill in our form here and they will call you back to start a quote for you. Why not give The Home Insurer a try and see if you could save money today?
With a score of 4.9 out of 5-stars from independent review specialist Feefo for delivering property insurance, you will be in good hands.
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