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Leaving your home unoccupied during lockdown

Tue 16th Jun 20

The coronavirus lockdown has affected us all in different ways and, for some people who were living on their own before, moving in with family or a friend has been a good way of keeping company during this challenging time.

If you’ve moved out of your own home, leaving it temporarily unoccupied, you may have some questions about your insurance and keeping your property and your contents protected. The team at Ryan’s answer some frequently asked questions:

I need to shield during lockdown and so does my friend. Rather than being isolated alone, I moved into her house so we could be together. Is my home still covered while I’m not living there?

If you’ve left your home unoccupied for more than 30 days, then it’s likely that the unoccupancy clause on your policy will apply and your cover may be restricted. It’s a good idea to speak with your insurance broker so they can advise you on what these restrictions are and source a suitable alternative if you require wider cover.

What is unoccupied buildings cover?

When a property has been unoccupied for over a certain amount of time (usually 30 days), restrictions to the cover will be applied to standard home insurance policies. These restrictions may exclude certain perils such as theft, malicious damage, escape of water and oil. If you plan to leave your property unoccupied for a long period of time you may need to purchase an unoccupied policy. This will be able to offer you full cover while the property isn’t being lived in, subject to terms and conditions.

How long is an unoccupied buildings insurance policy?

Unoccupied insurance can either be arranged annually or in some cases on a short term policy. Your insurance broker will be able to discuss the options with you.

Do I have any responsibilities to ensure my policy is valid?

Yes, the majority of specialist unoccupied policies will have certain terms and conditions that you’ll need to abide by. These often include inspecting the property, ensuring all security is put into full and effective operation, as well as heating conditions during the winter months.

If you’re concerned about your unoccupied property and whether you’re covered while you’re staying away during lockdown, our Private Clients Division is on hand and ready to help, call them on 01473 343300.