We should be clear here and state that we’re experts in home and office removals – not insurance!
However, due to the very nature of our business, we do have considerable experience as home and office movers plus associated insurance. As part of that, we’re sometimes asked questions by our clients about vacant properties and insurance cover. That might come about if you’ve purchased a home but can’t actually move into it for say a few weeks.
So, here are a few key points to keep in mind:
- If you have insurance on your new property, it may cover a period of time where the property can stand unoccupied. That’s typically somewhere around 30-45 consecutive days and is designed to cope with things such as holiday and business trip absences etc. However, it’s NOT indefinite cover.
- If your property will stand unoccupied for longer than that, you might need to take out what’s called “unoccupied property insurance” (the terminology might differ) if your cover is to be maintained;
- Should the property be empty, you might only need buildings cover because you’ll have no contents in there – in theory that is. Be a little cautious though because insurers might not share your view of what’s a fixture, thereby covered by buildings insurance, or “contents” and therefore not. There can be some grey areas around things such as free-standing kitchen units etc.
- In cases where you own an unoccupied property, remember that your insurance may require you to visit it regularly or arrange for someone else to do so. You’ll be looking for cumulative problems that might otherwise go unnoticed, such as a slipped tile which if unfixed might lead to water damage. Keep a log of your visits too – just in case.
- Insurance for unoccupied properties might also demand that you keep external areas clean and tidy. Keeping the grass cut and avoiding post building up in boxes are two classic examples. The issue is, of course, that thieves, vandals and squatters look for giveaway signs that nobody’s in residence.
- Keep in mind that if you have a mortgage on a property, you’ll typically be in breach of contract if you fail to keep it adequately insured. That applies whether you’re in residence or not.
If you’d like to know more, why not give us a call and we can perhaps cover this is more detail or suggest an insurance provider who can supply additional information