Including unoccupied property insurance in your considerations

Article by Richard Burgess

When you are looking for a suitable landlord insurance quote, it may be advisable to keep in mind that unoccupied property insurance may need to play a part in your deliberations.

Here are some thoughts as to how to go about that process:

• think carefully about your property situation and the way you use it to obtain rental income – that may include realistically assessing not only the full restoration value of the property itself but also producing a full contents inventory and associated valuation;

• if you are an owner-occupier, keep in mind that your existing home buildings and contents insurance may no longer be valid even if you are renting out only a single room of your property;

• you can search for landlord insurance or buy to let house insurance quotations (the two terms and other variations are often used interchangeably) and make appropriate comparisons based upon how closely or otherwise the policies match your requirements:

• it might be prudent to consider at the outset whether or not your property is ever likely to enter into the category of ‘unoccupied property’ – in insurance terms that is typically defined as a property that stands unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days;

• if your property does become ‘unoccupied’ in the insurance sense, then that will typically invalidate any existing landlord insurance covering the property;

• keep in mind that insurance providers typically do not consider why the property is standing unoccupied, so you may slip into that category if you have a property where new tenants are delayed arriving, work for conversion and renovation is underway or which is simply standing without tenants while you are away on an extended overseas business trip etc;

• some landlord insurance providers offer what is called unoccupied property insurance – this will cover properties that slip over the 30 day period mentioned above and ensure continuity of protection;

• you may find that unoccupied property insurance places certain obligations upon you as the policyholder – these may include things such as the need to periodically visit the house and check its condition and to keep external areas tidy and in good condition, so as to minimise the appearance of the house as being ‘unoccupied’ (thereby deterring thieves and vandals etc);

• this is not only an issue with buy to let house insurance and it may also apply to standard owner-occupier policies;

• you may well have very significant sums of money tied up in your property and may wish to ensure that it is as protected as it reasonably can be – that is why thoroughly evaluating landlord insurance quotations is essential and if necessary, to also consider unoccupied property insurance.

About the Author

Richard Burgess is Director of cover4letproperty ( a dedicated UK landlord insurance broker. Their easy to use site and friendly staff will get you multiple quotes from specialist insurers for landlord insurance at a competitive price.

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