It covers your property against damage and burglary when it is empty. You may leave your property vacant if:
You are renovating your property, but not living in it
You are a landlord and between tenants
You are selling your property but have already moved into a new home
Do you need it?
Most standard home insurance policies only cover an empty property for 30 or 60 days, depending on the insurer.
If you own a property that will be empty for a long period of time, use this comparison to find unoccupied home insurance quotes.
Unoccupied homes may be of greater risk to certain types of damage than occupied homes. Unoccupied home insurance can therefore protect you financially should your property fall victim.
Check your policy documents to make sure you are covered for any risks associated with your property being empty. Because there is nobody at the property to raise the alarm, even usually minor issues can quickly escalate. This is why unoccupied home insurance is generally more expensive than standard cover.
Why cover your empty property?
Your empty home is more at risk of:
Extensive fire, flood or storm damage, because there will be nobody at the property to limit the damage or get help. Some policies exclude water damage so check the policy before you buy.
Squatter damage, because it can go unnoticed if someone breaks in and stays in the property. You can also get legal cover to help have squatters removed.
If your property is being renovated, you may need extra cover you can find home renovation insurance here.
How long do you need cover for?
It depends on how long your property will be empty. You can usually choose a policy term of either:
Avoid paying for cover you do not need by choosing a policy length that best matches how long your property will be empty for.
Securing your property
Most unoccupied home insurance providers will want to know the condition of the property before they offer you cover. This can mean that you may be unable to find a policy if your property is in a poor state of repair, for example if it has:
Boarded up entrances
Most unoccupied house insurance providers will require that you ensure the property is fitted with effective security devices, usually burglar alarms and high-quality locks on doors and windows.
You may also need to make sure the pipes do not freeze and burst, though this can be done by simply putting the heating on a timer. Failing to take these precautions may impact whether your unoccupied house insurance provider agrees to a payout if you make a claim.