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.......Article > Unoccupied Property Insurance


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If you are investing in property you will want to make sure that your investment is as safe as it can be. When a property becomes vacant or is unoccupied there is a greater risk of damage occurring. It is, therefore, vital to ensure that you have adequate insurance protection in place that will pay out a claim if you find yourself in a position where you need to make one.

Landlord Insurance
Under a standard landlord`s insurance policy you will usually still have some cover if your property becomes unoccupied. There may, however, be restrictions or limitations on this cover, for example, malicious damage or damage occurring from burst pipes may become excluded under the policy terms and conditions.

You may have to take some specific actions to ensure that cover continues to operate. Many insurance policies require that the water system is drained down if the property is unoccupied for a period of more than usually 30 days. In some instances you may also be required to board the property up or implement other security measures.

It is also important to check your insurance policy to establish whether you are required to notify the insurer if a property becomes vacant as this may be a requirement for cover to continue.

Unoccupied Property Insurance
If you own property that is likely to be empty for longer than 30 days then you may want to consider an insurance policy that is specifically designed for unoccupied properties. There are a number of scenarios that can be covered under this specialist cover. It may be that you are in between tenants, will be carrying out renovations, or that your tenant has had to temporarily vacate the property, for example, because of a hospital stay.

Under a good unoccupied property insurance policy you will have cover for a full range of perils that includes fire risks, malicious damage and escape of water those that are usually limited under a standard landlord policy if the property is unoccupied.

You may have to pay a higher excess in the event of a claim for these perils due to the higher likelihood of them arising and increased claims costs that are usual if a property is unoccupied over the longer term.

When your property becomes occupied again you should notify the insurer. You may be able to automatically switch over to a standard landlord policy again with the same insurer which will ensure that you have no gaps in cover between policies.

If you are a buy to let landlord or property investor then there will be many actions that you already take to protect your investment. Whether it is by using a loans calculator to work out affordability before buying a new property or checking references for new tenants, you will take a number of steps to minimise risk. It is essential that you take the same prudent approach to your insurance arrangements if you wish to ensure that you have the best protection in place.


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