What is short-term home insurance?
Short-term home insurance is a non-standard home insurance that covers your home for a temporary amount of time when your standard home insurance policy won’t cover it.
Your home might be unoccupied for a short period of time because:
- You’re going on a long trip
- You’re having renovation works done and you need to move to temporary accommodation
- You’re waiting for a Grant of Probate to go through and the house will be empty during that time
- You’ve moved to a new home and you’re still waiting to sell your old home
- You may have bought a new home and you can’t yet move in
- You own a rental property but there’s a gap between tenants
Most standard home insurance policies won't cover your property if it’s unoccupied for more than 30 days, so you will need to take out short-term home insurance cover. Short-term home insurance will likely be more expensive than standard home insurance because of the increased risk of you needing to make a claim.
Some insurers will cover your home if it’s unoccupied for a longer period of time, so it’s always best to check your policy.
Click here to view our non standard home insurance providers.
How does short-term home insurance work?
Short-term home insurance offers the same level of protection as standard home insurance, but it also extends that cover to protect your home against the increased risk that comes with your home being unoccupied for longer periods of time.
Leaving a home empty for a long period of time can make it more susceptible to break-ins, vandalism, wear and tear and fires. And a dripping pipe that might be treated quickly in an occupied house can get worse and cause more damage in an empty home, adding to the potential cost of claims.
Short-term home insurance cover can start from seven days, and typically covers your unoccupied home for a three, six, nine or 12-month period.
What does short-term home insurance cover?
Short-term home insurance can offer the same level of cover for your home as standard home insurance:
- Temporary buildings insurance: short-term home insurance can cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding the building, its fixtures and outbuildings because of damage caused by fire, smoke, theft and attempted theft, lightning and storm, flood, malicious damage, earthquakes, subsidence (the land sinking) and more
- Temporary contents insurance: your short-term home insurance may also cover the cost of repairing or replacing the contents you’ll be keeping in your unoccupied home if they’re damaged by fire, smoke, theft and attempted theft, lightning and storm, flood, malicious damage, earthquakes, subsidence (the land sinking) and more. The standard amount of cover offered can be limited, so you may have to increase the amount of contents cover at an added cost to make sure your total contents value is protected
- Property owner’s liability: property owner’s liability cover protects you against any third-party claims for injury and loss or damage caused to their property because of your home
- Legal expenses: your short-term home insurance policy may offer cover for any legal expenses you might need to pay to cover the cost of evicting anybody who stays on your property without your permission, for example
What’s offered as part of a standard short-term home insurance policy will differ by insurer, so it’s always best to compare policy documents.
Some insurers will offer different levels of cover that you can choose from to protect your unoccupied home, so it’s always worth making sure you take out enough cover for the risk to your home.
Do you need short-term home insurance?
If your standard home insurance policy won’t cover your home while it’s unoccupied then you will need to take out an additional short-term home insurance policy to help make sure any claim you make will be covered. Otherwise, you might end up having to cover the cost of the damage yourself.
Things to keep in mind...
Although short-term home insurance is designed to protect your unoccupied home, there may still be restrictions on the level of cover offered and the events you can claim for:
- Insurers may not cover your vacant property against malicious damage
- There may be restrictions for the amount you can claim for theft and damage from water escape
- You’ll still need to keep your home as safe and secure as possible while it’s unoccupied to help make sure your insurer will cover any claims
- Try and make sure your home’s appearance is well-maintained while it’s empty to help deter thieves
- Even though your home will be unoccupied, some insurers may have a condition in the policy that says you’ll need to visit the property regularly (for example, once every seven days) to make sure there aren’t any problems. This could be a friend or relative who checks
Compare short-term home insurance
Find and compare short-term home insurance policies for your unoccupied home with MoneySuperMarket. Our non-standard home insurance listings page shows the level of cover offered by each insurer, and the unoccupied periods they will cover.
It’ll also show any terms and conditions you’ll need to meet to keep your cover, and any limitations the policy has. For example, the insurer might say whether legal expenses cover is optional with that policy.
Click through to the insurer’s site to fill out some information on your unoccupied home, the amount of cover you need and when you want the policy to start to get an insurance quote.