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Get a quote for short-term home insurance

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What is short-term home insurance?

Most standard home insurance policies won't cover your property if it is unoccupied for more than 30 days. So, if you’re going to be away for a while, for example, because you’re going on an extended holiday or having building work done, you’ll need short-term home insurance. Whether for your own home or a rental property, if no one’s going to be living in a house or flat you own for more than 30 days, short-term unoccupied buildings insurance provides essential protection for your property and possessions during that time.

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When do I need short-term home insurance?

Situations in which you may need short-term home insurance include:

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    Going on an extended holiday or business trip

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    Taking on a short-term work contract away from home

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    Carrying our renovations that prevent you living in the property

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    Undergoing probate on an inherited property

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    Arranging power of attorney for a relative who goes into care

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    Owning a holiday home that’s empty for long periods

What does short-term home insurance cover?

Short-term home insurance offers comparable protection to a standard home insurance policy, albeit for a shorter time and designed for properties that are largely unoccupied. As such, most policies include:

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    Buildings insurance

    Covers the physical structure of your property as well as its fixtures and fittings against risks

  • Contents insurance

    Provides similar cover for your possessions, including your furniture and clothes

How long do short-term house insurance policies last?

You can buy short-term home insurance that lasts for as little as one week if that’s all the cover you need, but most policies run for between three and nine months. When choosing how long to insure your property, remember that some companies limit the number of short-term policies you can take out each year, so it’s worth checking this with the insurer if you think you might need several polices.

How much cover do I need for short-term insurance?

If your home, or another property you own, is going to be unoccupied for a while, you’ll usually need both buildings and contents cover to protect the property itself and its contents. If, however, the property is completely empty, temporary building insurance alone will suffice. When it comes to the amount of cover required, you should base short-term unoccupied buildings on the rebuild cost of your home, rather than its market value. For contents cover, meanwhile, it’s important to have enough to replace all your movable possessions in the event they are destroyed or stolen. Take the time to

Calculate this properly as underestimating how much cover you need could have serious financial consequences, but over-insuring will mean paying more than necessary.

How much does short-term unoccupied home insurance cost?

Short-term home insurance is usually more expensive than standard home insurance due to the extra risks involved in insuring an unoccupied property. These include uncontrolled leaks, for example from a burst pipe, and a higher likelihood of burglary because there’s no one living there. So, it’s vital to shop around for cheap short-term home insurance. When choosing a policy, remember to check the levels of cover, as well as the price, as these vary between insurers. For example, some policies may refuse to pay out for unforced entry burglaries, or for damage caused by building contractors.

Can normal home insurance cover my home short term?   

No, all standard home insurance policies run for 12 months, so they are not designed to provide short-term cover. The options if you need temporary home insurance are therefore to buy short-term unoccupied buildings insurance lasting for the time you need it. Or, if the property is occupied, take out a standard policy lasting 12 months and cancel it when you no longer need it. You may be able to claim a pro-rata refund for the months you don’t use. However, most insurers will charge an administration fee to organise this. 


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How to get cheap short-term insurance quotes

You may be able to reduce your short-term home insurance premiums by: 

  • Choosing a higher excess, which is the amount you pay towards any claims 

  • Protecting your home with extra security measures such as an approved burglar alarm 

  • Installing a smoke alarm made by an insurer-approved manufacturer 

  • Insulating your water pipes to reduce the risk of leaks 

  • Shopping around for the best deal using our comparison service 

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Why compare short-term home insurance with MoneySuperMarket?

We’re here to help you protect the things that matter most.

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Yes, with a specialist unoccupied buildings insurance policy.  

Essentially yes, as the only form of short-term home insurance available is designed for unoccupied properties.

With most insurers, you can be covered from the day you take out the policy.

Yes, standalone short-term buildings insurance is available, but you can also find policies offering cover for both the physical structure of your property and its contents.

Yes, you can buy a short-term home insurance policy that lasts just one month.

Yes, some insurers offer temporary home insurance policies lasting just seven days.

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