Short term unoccupied house insurance

  • Insure for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months
  • Inspections only required every 14 days
  • Cover for non-structural renovations
short term unoccupied house insurance

Easy to buy short term unoccupied home insurance

What we do

We make it easy to arrange short term unoccupied home insurance

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Get a quote online in a few minutes. If you buy, your policy will be emailed to you in minutes.

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Whats on this page

On this page you will find a lot of useful information to help you arranging short term unoccupied house insurance.

If you have questions on unoccupied property insurance you may find they are answered on this page. If not, start a chat or contact us. You can click on any of the items in 'Contents' to jump to the section that interests you.

Contents

Why choose Insuristic ?

  • You are protected by the Financial Ombudsman Service should you have a complaint with any of our services. So when you buy from Insuristic you know you are in safe hands.
  • We are an independent Insurance broker and only work with A Rated Insurance Providers.
  • We have developed our insurance policy specifically for people who need arrange short term unoccupied house insurance, which makes it easier for you to understand the cover and buy a policy.
  • If you need to make a claim on your probate house insurance policy, you will have access to our inhouse claims team. They will help you submit a claim and will manage the process from start to finish on your behalf.

Get a quote for short term unoccupied home insurance

  • No need to declare the Buildings Sums Insured, just the number of bedrooms
  • Cover for non structural renovations costing less than £50,000
  • Property owner’s liability up to £2,000,000.
  • You can insure just the buildings; or
  • Extend cover to include contents
  • Property Inspections are only required every 14 days

When you get a quote from Insuristic you can:

  • Tailor the cover to suit your requirements

  • Buy cover for most types of property

We have made it easy to get a quote but if you need help, our team are only an online chat away.

You can find out more about the cover you can buy, property inspection rules and guidance on our renovation acceptance criteria below.

What is short term unoccupied home insurance?

When you need to leave your home unoccupied for more than 30 days, your standard home insurance may not provide adequate coverage. This is where short term empty house insurance comes in.

Insuristic offers flexible short term insurance policies for 3, 6, or 9 months, and you can even extend your coverage if needed.

Plus, if you need to cancel early, there are no cancellation fees.

With Insuristic's short-term empty house insurance, you can rest assured that your property is protected from damage or theft while it's unoccupied. The policy can include:

  • Buildings insurance: This compulsory coverage safeguards your home against certain types of damage or destruction depending on the level of cover you choose. Insuristic has three levels of cover, Bronze, Silver, and Gold, so you can buy insurance tailored to your needs.

  • Contents insurance: If you have belongings in the property, you can insure them up to £30,000. However, it's important to note that this coverage is different from standard home insurance. As contents in unoccupied homes are more susceptible to theft, the maximum value per item insured is £1,000. Valuables or collections should be removed and placed in secure storage.

  • Property Owners Liability insurance: This cover protects you from legal liability if someone is injured or their property is damaged while on your unoccupied premises.

Consider short-term empty house insurance from Insuristic to safeguard your property and financial interests when leaving your home unoccupied for more than 30 days consecutively.

What if you don’t tell your existing insurer that your house is now unoccupied?

If the house is going to be unoccupied for longer than your existing insurer allows, which is usually 30 continuous days (check your policy schedule for details), you must inform your insurer as soon as possible.

Because the risks are much higher for empty properties, many insurers either won’t provide cover or will restrict cover for long periods of unoccupancy.

The Financial Ombudsman Service have listed a number of case studies on their website that involve claims being rejected due to the property being continuously unoccupied when a claim was made.  

Here are a couple of examples where the insurance provider has rejected claims because the property was unoccupied.  The Financial Ombudsman Service ruled in favour of the insurance provider on both occasions:

Claims disputes can be time-consuming and costly, and they can often be avoided by taking out specialist unoccupied house insurance.

If you are planning on leaving your home unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days, don't leave it to chance. Contact your existing insurer to see if they offer unoccupied house insurance, and if they don't, you can usually buy a short-term policy from a specialist insurer.

How much does short term unoccupied house insurance cost?

The cost of short term unoccupied house insurance will vary depending on the following factors:

  • Number of bedrooms: The more bedrooms a property has, the higher the cost of rebuilding or repairing it, so insurers often factor this into their pricing.

  • Property rebuild value: All insurance products are priced based on the cost to rebuild the property, including professional fees and debris removal costs. So the higher the rebuild cost, the higher the price of the insurance policy.

  • Location: The location of the property can also affect the cost of insurance. For example, properties in areas with a high risk of flooding or subsidence, or in areas with a high crime rate, may be more expensive to insure.

  • Property maintenance: Most insurers will ask if your property is in good condition and well-maintained. If it is, more insurers will quote as it is less likely to suffer damage. If it isn't insurers will either no-quote or increase the price they would have offered a similar well maintained property.

  • Level of cover: Insuristic provides three levels of cover (Bronze, Silver and Gold). The more cover you buy, the higher the cost.

It only takes a couple of minutes to get a quote with Insuristic to find out how much your insurance will cost.

What does short term unoccupied home insurance cover?

Insuristic has developed 3 levels of cover for people to consider when purchasing short term unoccupied house insurance. Bronze, Silver and Gold. Click on the tabs below to find out more.
Select the level of cover you wish to learn about from the menu:

Cover if the house is being renovated

If you are renovating an empty house, you need to tell your insurer about any renovations that are being made to the home. Insuristic makes this process easier.

If you are planning renovations that cost less than £50,000 and do not include making structural changes to the walls or roof, we can provide you with a quotation for the property online.

This means that if you are changing kitchens or bathrooms, rewiring or re-plumbing, or replacing doors and windows (costing less than £50,000 in total), we can cover this without increasing your premium or needing to refer your circumstances to our underwriters.

If you are undertaking a major renovation project, you can complete the quote information, but we will need to refer these changes to our underwriter.

If your circumstances do not fit our short term unoccupied home insurance scheme, the team at SJL Insurance Services can provide advice and access to a range of specialist renovation insurers.

Empty House Risk Management Considerations

You should always review your policy documents to ensure you understand your cover you are buying and the policy conditions that you need to comply with.

Here are some examples of insurance and risk management factors that you should be aware of.

Keeping an empty house in a good state of repair

Maintaining an empty home requires proactive care to ensure its integrity and protect against potential damage.

Your insurer may deem your claim ineligible if you fail to maintain your property in a satisfactory condition.

For instance, if a storm damages a roof with missing tiles, your claim for roofing repairs may be denied due to the underlying neglect.

To minimise the risk of claims denial and preserve the property's value, it's crucial to implement preventive maintenance measures.

Regularly inspect the exterior and interior for any signs of deterioration or potential hazards.

Address any issues promptly, such as fixing leaky pipes, replacing damaged seals, or securing windows and doors.

Diligent maintenance demonstrates your responsibility towards the property and reduces the likelihood of unforeseen claims.

Remove valuables whilst the house is empty

Your insurer will provide cover for contents but the maximum they will pay out for an individual item is £1,000.

You should remove all valuables, collections, art and jewellery from the property.  These items are theft attractive and should be secured away from the empty property.

Remove high value items from garages, sheds and other outbuildings

When leaving your home unoccupied, consider removing valuable and high-theft-risk items from garages, sheds, or any outbuildings. Your insurance policy may limit coverage for these items due to their increased susceptibility to theft. Safeguarding these valuables by storing them elsewhere in a secure location is advisable.

Make sure you can comply with the minimum security condition on the policy

Your policy will need you to secure the property against unauthorised entry.

If you are insuring less than £10,000 of contents, you will need to have at least working locks on all windows and doors.

If you are insuring more than £10,000 of contents, your minimum security condition will be:

External Doors will need either:

  • a 5 Lever Mortice Deadlocks (conforming to British Standard 3621); or

  • if a composite or UPVC type door, a multi locking point system.

Patio Doors: will need:

  • a central locking device

  • key operated bolts to top or;

  • a multi locking point system.

Windows: need key operated security locks.  These need to be on all ground floor and other accessible windows.

If you fail to keep the property secure, it could mean claims following illegal entry are declined.

Water supply isolation and drain down

To prevent damage from water leaks or freezing, it's recommended to drain down your water system completely. This involves shutting off the main water supply at the point of entry into the property, typically located indoors.

If you fail to drain down your water system and there's a claim related to water damage, your insurance coverage may be reduced or even denied. For detailed information regarding this policy provision, please refer to your insurance policy schedule.

Reducing escape of water incidents during cold spells

To minimise the risk of expensive water damage during cold spells, insurers typically recommend the following measures:

  1. Draining down your water systems to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. This involves shutting off the main water supply and releasing the water from your pipes.

  2. Leaving the heating on during the winter months if your water systems cannot be drained (insurers usually need this to be at least 16 degrees Celsius). This ensures that the pipes remain warm and less susceptible to freezing.

Failure to follow these recommendations could result in your insurance coverage for water damage claims being reduced or even excluded.

Turn off utility services

Your policy will include a condition about turning off services at the mains.  The exception is when electricity is needed to maintain an intruder or fire alarm.

Failing to do so could mean a claim related to the services at the property is declined.

If you are having renovations work done, check your contractors insurance

When engaging contractors for renovations, it's crucial to verify their public liability insurance coverage to safeguard against potential damage or injuries. Your short term empty house insurance policy may not fully compensate for damages inflicted by third-party contractors.

To protect yourself financially and legally, request a copy of your contractor's public liability insurance policy schedule. Carefully review the following aspects:

  1. Business Description: Ensure the listed business activities align with the specific renovations you've commissioned.

  2. Policy Expiry Date: Verify that the policy remains valid and active for the duration of the renovation project.

  3. Coverage Adequacy: Ascertain that the level of insurance coverage purchased by the contractor adequately matches the potential risks involved in the renovation work.

Don't let the post build up

To keep your house secure when unoccupied, it's essential to address mail collection and delivery.

Redirect your mail and newspapers to a secure location to avoid accumulating mail and newspapers in your absence. This practice helps maintain the appearance of occupancy and reduces the risk of attracting unwanted attention.

A build-up of mail and newspapers can provide potential burglars with clues that the property is unoccupied, increasing the chances of break-ins. By redirecting your mail and newspapers, you can prevent these visual cues and deter intruders.

Additionally, a build-up of mail and newspapers can pose a fire hazard. As the materials decompose, they can produce heat and release gases that can ignite, potentially causing a fire. By removing mail and newspapers regularly, you can minimise this fire risk.

If you have a trusted neighbor or friend who can collect your mail and newspapers while you're away, this is an ideal solution. Alternatively, you can arrange for mail redirection through your postal service.

Lastly, your insurance policy will contain a condition requiring you to do this.

Keep the garden tidy

Maintaining a well-kept garden can deter burglars and help maintain the appearance of occupancy.

A tidy garden with mowed lawns, trimmed bushes, and cleared debris sends a signal that the property is cared for and likely occupied, discouraging potential intruders.

During the winter months, regularly clearing snow from walkways and driveways further reinforces the perception of occupancy.

A well-maintained exterior gives the impression that someone is present, making your property less of a target for break-ins.

Regularly inspect the property

Regular property inspections are crucial when your home is unoccupied to minimise the risk of fire, theft, water damage, and other potential losses.

Most insurers recommend inspecting your unoccupied house every 7 days, evidenced by a written inspection report.

The good news is, Insuristic simplifies this process for you:

  1. Reduced Inspection Frequency: Insuristic policy holders are only required to inspect the property every 14 days instead of weekly.

  2. Simplified Inspection Process: There is no need for a written report. Instead, take two photos of the property with your mobile phone: one of the exterior and one of the interior. These photos serve as proof of inspection.

  3. Efficient Claim Process: In case of a claim, simply share the inspection photos with your insurer to expedite the claims process.

About our Underwriting Partners

The Insuristic home insurance for unoccupied property scheme is underwritten by certain underwriters at Lloyd’s and administered by SJL Insurance Services.

Lloyds is the world's leading insurance marketplace, with an insurance premium income in excess of £35 billion.

SJL Insurance Services are a leading UK Insurance broker with offices in Worcester, and Bristol (Insuristic.co.uk is a trading style of SJL).

Policy information

If you want to see at a glance what is or isn't covered, please view the IPID (Insurance Product Information Document). The policy wording contains the full terms and conditions of the insurance policy. There may be other exclusions and these will be listed on your schedule.

Bronze IPID

Click to view

Silver IPID

Click to view

Gold IPID

Click to view

Making a claim on short term unoccupied home insurance

If you need to make a claim, don’t worry.  The team at SJL Insurance Services are only a phone call away.

Between the hours of 9am and 5pm call 01905 27775. Outside of these hours call 0121 411 0535.

Check out our property claims page for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I cancel my policy?

If you cancel the policy, the insurer will provide a pro rata refund. We won't charge you a fee for cancelling either.

To cancel, you would just need to provide the info on our contact us form, including a reason for cancellation and we will do the rest

What if I only need to insure for a month?

You can do this with Insuristic. Just choose the 3 month cover option. When you need to cancel your policy, you will receive a refund for the remainder of the policy. There is no fee for doing this.

Can I insure just for 60 days?

Yes but you will have to choose the 3 month cover option. When you cancel, you will receive a refund for the cover you haven't used. We won't charge you a fee for cancelling either.

Can I insure for 90 days?

Yes, the minimum cover length you can buy from Insuristic is 3 months, or 90 days.

Can I just buy buildings insurance?

Yes you don't need to include contents insurance. Although £2m Property Owners Liability will be included automatically in your buildings insurance quote.

Will you insure an empty house that is derelict?

If the house is in a poor state of repair or is boarded up, we will not be able to provide a quotation online.

You can complete the quotation details and a member of our advisory team at SJL insurance will contact you to discuss your property and insurance requirements.

Get a short term unoccupied home insurance quote

Related Property Insurance Pages

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About the Author

Rob Faulkner CEO of Insuristic

Hi, I'm Rob, CEO and Founder of Insuristic. My mission is to make insurance easier to understand and buy online.

I hold an Advanced Diploma in Insurance (ACII) which demonstrates I have a solid technical understanding of Insurance and have committed to continuous professional development. I am also a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and hold the a Chartered Insurance Broker status.

Over the last 27 years, I have worked for insurers, insurance brokers and insurance technology businesses, specialising in product, sales and marketing.

You can find out more about me on my author page.

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Insuristic Limited (No: 13926650), is an Appointed Representative of SJL (Worcester) Ltd, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with the reference number 763599. This can be checked by visiting https://register.fca.org.uk/s/.  Insuristic is a registered trademark. ©Copyright 2023 Insuristic Limited.  All Rights Reserved.

 

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