Unoccupied Home Insurance

  • Specialist policy only available from Insuristic
  • Short-Term Cover or Annual Policies
  • Choose from 3 levels of cover
  • No Cancellation Fees
  • In-house claims service
Insuristic Unoccupied Home Insurance

Insure an unoccupied home online in a couple of minutes

Video Overview:

This page provides all the information you need when insuring an unoccupied home.

We have also covered this in the following video.

Whats on this page

On this page, you will find helpful information to help you arrange unoccupied home insurance.

If you have questions not covered on this page, 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

What is unoccupied home insurance?

You should consider a specialist home insurance policy if your property is unoccupied.  

If a home is going to be empty for more than 30 days, it is common for standard home insurers to:

  • Apply new policy conditions to reduce the risk of a claim whilst a property is empty.
  • Increase the premium; or
  • Decline to continue to cover the property.

The cover can also be more expensive than a standard home insurance product because empty homes are more likely to be damaged by damage (such as a burst pipe), fire, theft, or vandalism.

Not all policies are the same and cover can vary depending on the provider you approach.  You might find this cover called different things online, such as empty home insurance or vacant home insurance.  

Insuristic has developed two policies with different levels of cover so you can tailor the policy to meet your needs. If the property is empty due to the owner's death, please visit our specialist probate house insurance page.

Why insure an unoccupied home with Insuristic

  • You won't find our unoccupied home insurance on comparison sites.
  • 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 insuring an unoccupied home with Insuristic, you can:

  • Tailor the cover to suit your requirements
  • Buy cover for most types of property

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

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

When you might need to insure an unoccupied home

People generally need to insurance an unoccupied home if:

  • Homes unoccupied during probate can be left empty for 6-months or more.

  • You hold Power of Attorney, and the property owner has gone into care. You could insure the empty property on a short-term or long-term basis.

  • When a home is up for sale, and you have already moved into a new property.

  • When the property is empty during renovation, and you decide to live elsewhere until the work is complete. 

  • Suppose you like holidays for over 30 days. In that case, you may need to consider home insurance for unoccupied property on a short-term basis if your existing insurer can't help you.

  • You are an executor on an empty property during the probate process and need to insure it.

  • You're a landlord with property between tenants, and your existing insurer is reluctant to insure the empty property.

  • You are often away on business and need insurance for your empty property when you are away for more than 30 days.

  • You've just purchased an investment property, which will remain empty until it's ready for sale or until tenants move in.

  • The owner of the property has sadly passed away, and you're a family member looking to insure it until it is inherited.

How Insuristic Makes Short-term Unoccupied Home Insurance Easy

Most people don’t know how long they need to insure an unoccupied property. Selling the property, finding new tenants, or completing renovations can take time.

Buying an annual policy might mean a more significant upfront expense than necessary, plus possible early cancellation fees.

Insuristic recognises this and has designed a process that makes arranging short-term unoccupied home insurance easy.

You can buy a policy for as little as three months, with options to insure for six or nine months.

However, the way our cancellation process works is that if you are willing to pay a minimum of three months' insurance premium, you can insure for less than three months.

This is because Insuristic:

  • Does not charge any fees to cancel a policy.
  • If you insure for longer than you need you will also receive a pro-rata refund for any unused cover.

Which means you only pay for the cover you need.

Why not get a quote if you need to arrange short-term unoccupied home insurance. It will only take a couple of minutes of your time.

How much does unoccupied home insurance cost

So far in 2024, the average Insuristic customer spent £265, including insurance premium tax, and purchased our silver cover for six months.

If you want to understand what factors influence the cost when insuring an unoccupied home, watch our video below or read on.

The cost of unoccupied home insurance will vary between providers. The price is determined by how long you need to insure the property and the level of cover you buy.

In addition to this, there are several other factors that will influence the price you pay:

  • The number of bedrooms in the property: The bigger the property, the higher the cost of repair or reinstatement. So insurers often factor the number of bedrooms in the property in their pricing.

  • The Property Rebuild Value: Some insurance products are priced at the cost of rebuilding the house, including professional and debris removal fees.

  • The Location of the Property: will affect the price you pay. For example, if the property is in an area known for flooding or subsidence or has a high crime rate, this will likely increase the cost.

  • Property Security: If your house is fitted with above-average levels of security, such as an alarm, this may result in some insurers providing a discount to reflect the lower risk of theft.

  • Property Maintenance: If the property is in good repair, well protected, regularly inspected, and all water pipes are insulated, the likelihood of a claim is reduced. If the house has been continuously claims-free, most insurers will offer a no-claims discount. The level of discount increases by the number of claims-free years.

  • The level of cover you buy: Unoccupied house insurance UK policies usually have three levels of cover. The cheapest is FLEEA-only cover. You can find out more about the levels of cover available from Insuristic above.

The only way to find out how much unoccupied home insurance costs is to get a quote online, which takes only a couple of minutes.

Unoccupied Home Insurance Cover Levels

The cover provided by our unoccupied home insurance product depends on the level of cover you have purchased. You can compare our 3 levels of cover below:
Select the level of cover you wish to learn about from the menu:

How the cover is differs to occupied home insurance.

When insuring an unoccupied home, you need to know how it differs from standard home insurance.

It will differ in the following areas:

  • The unoccupied home will need to be inspected regularly (more on that later)
  • Insurers will recommend (some may insist) that you isolate and drain down water systems.
  • Insurers will also recommend (again, some may require) that you turn off the energy supply whilst the property is not in use.
  • The maximum sums insured for a single item of contents will often be restricted because items like art, jewellery, and electronic goods are attractive targets for theft. You should remove items like this from the property and store them securely.
  • You might also find that cover for contents in outbuildings, like garages or sheds, is restricted. Again, this is because items like lawnmowers, bikes, and tools are attractive for theft and potentially easy to steal when the main property is empty. Furthermore, you should remove valuable items from the property and store them securely.
  • You will usually be able to choose from different levels of cover. More on this later.

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

Suppose the property will be unoccupied for longer than your existing insurer allows, usually 30 continuous days (check your policy schedule for details). In that case, you must inform your insurer as soon as possible.  

Because the risks are much higher for empty properties, many insurers either will not provide coverage or will restrict coverage for long periods of unoccupation.

The Financial Ombudsman Service has listed a number of case studies on its website that involve claims being rejected because the property was continuously unoccupied when the claim was made.  

Here are some 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 take time and are avoidable by purchasing a specialist unoccupied house insurance policy. 

Don't leave it to chance if your house will be unoccupiedn for more than 30 continuous days. Notify your insurer to see if they can offer the cover.

If they don’t, you should purchase an unoccupied house insurance policy. You can usually buy this on a short-term basis.

How Insuristic helps you avoid Building Underinsurance

When insuring an unoccupied home you need to be aware of the risk of underinsurance.

If you are asked to provide a building sums insured, or a declared value, this should not be the market value. It should be the rebuild value of the property.

What is rebuild value?

The rebuild value is not the same as the market value.

A rebuild valuation can often be far higher than the market value as it includes:

  • The costs of demolishing and clearing away what’s left of the original property;
  • Fees for professionals, such as architects and surveyors; and
  • The cost of the materials and labour needed to rebuild the property to the same standard as before a loss.

How Insuristic can help you avoid underinsuring the property

When you arrange home insurance for an unoccupied property with Insuristic, you may not need to worry about the rebuild value. If the property has four bedrooms or less and a rebuild value below £750,000, you can request a quote without providing a rebuild value.

The policy you buy then has £750,000 building sums insured as standard, meaning you don’t need to worry about underinsurance, provided you are confident your property rebuild valuation is below this figure. If you are unsure whether it is, we recommend completing a rebuild cost assessment to be on the safe side.

If the property will likely exceed a £750,000 rebuild valuation, you can speak to our underwriting team directly at SJL Insurance. They can advise you on how to get a valuation and then provide insurance based on an actual rebuild cost.

Alternatively, you could arrange a rebuild valuation yourself. BCH specialises in building insurance valuations and has offered a discounted price for Insuristic customers. You can order a building rebuild valuation for £100+ VAT from the BCH website.

Property Inspection Condition

Unoccupied properties are at a higher risk of fire, theft, water escape, and other types of claims. As a result, your insurer will require the property to be regularly inspected to check for damage or loss.

If you insure with Insuristic, the property will only need to be inspected every 14 days. Unlike many insurance providers, we do not require a written inspection report.

As most people have a mobile device, we have decided to accept images as proof of inspection.

The person inspecting the home must take two images with their mobile phone (one of the front of the property and one inside). You will need to share these pictures with your insurer in the event of a claim.

Cover if the property is being renovated

When renovating an empty home, many insurers will require you to tell them about any renovations (other than painting and decorating) planned for the home.

Insuristic makes this process easier.

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

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

If you are undertaking a major project, you can complete the quote information, but we will need to refer these changes to our underwriter. If your circumstances don't fit our scheme, the team at SJL Insurance Services can provide advice and access to a range of specialist renovation insurers.

About our Unoccupied Home Insurance 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.

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 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.

We have created a short guide on what is involved in making a claim, which you can find here.

Unoccupied Home Insurance FAQs

Most people have never insured an unoccupied home before.  It is not the same as standard home insurance. We have put together an Unoccupied Home Insurance FAQ page to cover every question we have ever been asked.  If we missed anything, please start an online chat.

Here are some common FAQs:

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 independant Insurance broker and only work with A Rated Insurance Providers.
  • We have developed our insurance policy specifically for people insuring an unoccupied home. Which makes it easier for you to understand the cover and buy a policy.
  • If you need to make a claim on your unoccupied home 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.

Latest Unoccupied Home Insurance Blog Posts

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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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