Unoccupied Properties - Essential Tips


May 2016

When a property is unoccupied, between tenants, awaiting sale, or the resident is absent for any reason, it is exposed to a greater level of risk. To make matters worse, few property owners are even aware of the restrictions which apply under most insurance policies. These often exclude cover for the very risks which are of the greatest concern, for example theft, malicious damage and escape of water (burst pipes).


These exclusions often apply automatically on policies where the property has not been lived in for a continuous period of 60, 30, or sometimes as little as 7 days, depending on the policy. It is therefore essential that property owners take the necessary precautions to protect their property.


By taking a few simple steps it is possible to reduce the risk of disaster, and make the risk acceptable to insurers, who can provide cover as long as certain precautions are being taken.


A burst pipe can pour well over 400 litres of water per hour into your property. That’s 70,000 – 80,000 litres per week. To avoid the risk of pipes freezing causing serious water damage, systems should be drained down and the water switched off at the stopcock. Alternatively, the central heating system should be active 24 hours per day (not on a timer) at a minimum temperature of 15 degrees centigrade. If possible, the water should still be switched off at the stopcock. If any water is stored in the loft, the access hatch should be left open part way, allowing air to circulate in the roof space.


Empty properties are often a target for criminals. Unfortunately, if access is gained, serious damage often results. Remove all valuables and ensure that the property is secure, locking all available window and door locks and removing all keys. Ensuring the house is kept looking clean and well cared for, and any garden maintained to a good standard will also help the property appear occupied, even when it isn’t.


Visit your empty property regularly, as inspections are often a requirement of the insurance policy whilst the property is unoccupied.

In a blog it is only possible to give general advice. It is important that you check your insurance documents and tell your insurer that the property is empty to make sure that you are meeting their specific requirements and understand any cover restrictions. Failure to do this could lead to claims not being covered.

Green Insurance Group are a specialist in unoccupied property insurance, and our team of experienced professionals work closely with insurers that are usually able to provide a wide range of cover. If you would like more information, or a quote for unoccupied property insurance, please call either Sheila or Tracey at our Folkestone Office on 01303 290860 

Alternatively, visit our website to obtain a quotation online 























































































Unoccupied Properties - Essential Tips


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