Although you almost certainly have normal home contents and building cover to cover only the property, why not consider specialist empty house insurance if it’s not fully occupied? As with regular home insurance, empty house insurance can be arranged at short notice, so you can arrange cover in advance for a longer period than usual. This is particularly useful if you are thinking of moving abroad, as home contents cover will normally only last for so long before you have to renew. However, it can also protect your personal belongings and your family’s possessions should anything happen to your home while you’re abroad.
If you leave your empty property empty for a long time before arranging home contents cover, then you are at increased risk of theft. This is because a lot of households store valuable items on their property that aren’t always protected. Some may have expensive jewellery or collections, or valuables like TVs and computers. Others may leave expensive objects in plain sight in the home, which can be picked up by opportunistic thieves who want cash up for a steal. Contents cover typically won’t help with this – you’ll have to take out separate insurance. But an empty house insurance policy can provide peace of mind for owners of empty properties.
Many people don’t realise that many unoccupied properties also come with a clause of probate. This means that if someone were to die in these properties, they would not leave an executor or family members to handle the affairs. You would need to take care of those matters yourself, and you may lose out on some inheritance tax or capital gains tax if you owned the properties before they became unoccupied.
There’s more to empty house insurance than just contents cover though. These policies will generally also provide coverage for any damage to the building itself including any deterioration to internal plumbing and electricity. They’ll usually also cover the structural integrity of the property itself which is essential if you’re looking to insure against subsidence or other forms of damage. Most insurance providers will state whether or not there are any restrictions on how these policies work, but it’s worth checking to make sure before taking out the policy.
If you’re thinking about buying an empty property for yourself then you’ll need to obtain standard home insurance as well. You’ll often find that buildings insurance will not provide as much protection as it does for a rented property. It’s important to remember though that it is still worth getting quotes and comparing them against your existing home insurance. A specialist broker will be able to get quotes from a range of different insurance companies and provide useful advice on how to get the most suitable quotes for your circumstances.
You may need to consider additional contents cover if you decide to buy an empty house insurance policy. These types of policies will typically cover some basic items that are within the property such as furniture and carpets. However they will not provide cover for any electronic equipment. This can be a costly affair so it’s worth making sure you understand exactly what you’re getting with the cover. You should also bear in mind that it will not normally be compulsory to have such cover, which means you may have to take out it independently.
When insuring an empty house insurance policy, it’s worth remembering that if the home becomes unoccupied for a substantial period of time this may lead to a discount being offered. If it becomes unoccupied for more than six months in any one year then the provider will usually charge a higher premium to keep the risk to a minimum. This is especially true for unoccupied homes in rural areas where it may be hard to guarantee properties will always be occupied. Insuring homes for longer periods of time helps to ensure you’re not left out in the cold. If you do find you have to move out of your property in the near future you will still have protection.
An empty house insurance policy is available from a large number of providers. It is also possible for you to buy your policy online, but generally you’ll have to contact most of them on the telephone before you are able to buy it. They may also offer discounts for buying your insurance online. Just remember to do some research and shop around before you buy to make sure you get a decent quote and that it suits your needs. The choice of any insurance policy is important, so it’s worth spending the time finding the right one for you.