Unoccupied property insurance.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to insure an empty property in case something goes wrong. For example, could you afford to pay for damage caused by a flood or fire? What would happen if the house was targeted by thieves or vandals?

The 30-day rule

You might already have home insurance in place, but your existing policy is unlikely to be adequate. Most insurers will not cover a property if it is left unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days. So, if you were to make a claim on your standard insurance it would most likely not pay out.

Range of risks

Most unoccupied property insurance policies insure a range of risks including storm, flood, fire and theft. Your liability as the property owner would also be covered in case, for example, a slate blew off the roof and damaged your neighbour’s conservatory. But it’s always worth checking any exclusions. Some home insurance firms are reluctant to insure an empty property against malicious damage. There might also be restrictions on theft of contents and any damage caused by an escape of water.

Short term cover

You don’t have to insure an empty house for the usual 12 months required by a normal policy. Most firms allow you to arrange cover for three, six, nine or 12 months, with the option to extend if necessary. So, you might take out a three-month policy to cover your property while it is up for sale. But if the sale takes longer than expected, you could simply extend the policy as required.

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