Unoccupied Property Insurance

Do You Own An Unoccupied Property?

Published on has teamed up with the leading UK landlord insurance companies to help you find a cheaper deal to protect your buy to let investments.

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Use our collection of specialist insurers below to compare landlord insurance policies and find buildings and contents insurance, legal expenses cover and rent guarantee insurance to help make your life as a landlord a whole lot easier.

MoneySupermarket doesn't offer a comparison service for this type of product but we have compiled a list below of insurers who can help

Unoccupied Property Insurance

Most standard home insurance policies do not cover properties that are empty for more than 30 days, so you will need specialist cover for a vacant property. But why bother to pay for insurance if a property is empty? It may sound like a waste of money, but unoccupied home insurance could actually save you cash in the long run.

There are various reasons why a property might be empty. Perhaps you have gone away for an extended holiday, or a stay in hospital. Some people vacate their home while it is refurbished, or extended. You might be a landlord who has not yet found suitable tenants for a property, or perhaps you have decided to sell a property that has previously been let. A home might also be empty following a death, while the family waits for probate.

Why do I need unoccupied home insurance?

Whatever the reason, insurance is important to protect the property from risks such as fire, explosion, lightning, flood, storm - even vandalism and theft. In fact, some insurers consider empty properties to be a greater risk than homes with occupants. For example, thieves might judge an unoccupied property to be an easy target. There is also the danger that damage from, say bad weather or a burst pipe, might lie undetected for some time, causing serious problems.

What the policy covers

Unoccupied property insurance works in a similar way to standard home insurance. You can usually arrange the policy to cover a suitable period, for example, three, six or nine months.

Some insurers also offer various levels of cover. So you might choose a basic policy that includes insurance for fire, explosion, lighting, earthquake storm and flood, or your might decide to include vandalism, theft and escape of water. Unoccupied home policies should also include liability insurance, in case of damage to another person or their property. For example, a broken slate from your roof might fall onto your neighbour's conservatory.

If you have moved out of your home while building work is carried out on the property, any contractors should have their own insurance - but it's always worth checking!

Generally speaking, the more comprehensive the cover, the higher the premium. But prices vary considerably between insurers, so you should always shop around as you might be able to find a comprehensive policy at a competitive price.

The type of policy you chose will depend on your circumstances and your budget, as well as the length of time the property will stand empty. If, for example, you are going away only for a short time and you have willing and able neighbours, you might decide that a basic policy is adequate.

Are contents included?

Some policies automatically include contents cover up to a certain limit. But never assume that your contents are insured. You should always check with your insurer if you want to cover any contents in the vacant property.

How much cover do I need?

You should calculate the amount of cover you need in the same way as you would for an occupied property. So, you need to know the rebuild cost of the home - not the market value. You can find out how to work out the rebuild cost by visiting the website of the Association of British Insurers at

The easiest way to work out the value of your contents is to make a room by room inventory - not forgetting the contents of the garden or any outbuildings. Our contents calculator can help with this. Some empty properties do not house many valuables, so you might not need a high level of cover.

The cost of unoccupied home insurance

The level of risk determines the level of the premium. So, if you want a comprehensive policy for an expensive home stuffed with valuable contents that will be unoccupied for nine months, you will probably pay more than someone who needs only basic cover for a small empty house that will stand vacant for just two months.

Insurers will also take into account the postcode of the property and, in some cases, the reason why it will be left unoccupied.

Money saving tips

It's important to compare quotes from a number of different insurers before you buy unoccupied home insurance to make sure you get the right policy at the right price. And it's easy with MoneySupermarket's online comparison service.

You can also save money by paying close attention to the security of an unoccupied property. Most insurers will insist on specific window and door locks before they agree to cover a vacant home. You should also consider fitting an approved alarm system.

You might want to agree a higher excess in return for a lower premium. But remember that the excess is the amount you must pay towards each claim, so make sure the figure is affordable.

Guide to landlord insurance

While cost is important, finding the right landlord insurance policy for your properties and your own individual needs is paramount. Read our landlord insurance guide to make sure your policy ticks all the boxes.

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