Whether it’s in the UK or overseas, visiting your holiday or second home during lockdown has been impossible, and even once lockdowns are lifted, travelling is not as easy as it once was. That means that your holiday home may be unoccupied, putting it at greater risk of disrepair, theft and more.
Your second home may be kept for your sole use, or you might rent it out when you’re not using it. Either way it’s likely to have some periods of unoccupancy during more normal times, and your holiday home insurance may already be primed to cover these. It’s a good idea to check your insurance covers regularly to ensure they still fit your needs.
Here, the team at Ryan’s answer some frequently asked questions:
Due to lockdown, we’re unable to use our holiday home ourselves and we can’t rent it out, either. Is it still insured?
If your home is unoccupied, then it’s likely that the unoccupancy clause on your policy will apply, meaning your cover may be restricted. Many second home insurance policies can be extended to include this but it’s important that you keep your broker informed and it's a good idea to call them so that they can advise you on any restrictions and find the most suitable cover for you.
What is unoccupied buildings cover?
When a property has been unoccupied for more than a certain amount of time, restrictions to the cover will be applied to standard property insurance policies. These restrictions may exclude certain perils such as theft, malicious damage, escape of water and oil. An unoccupied policy will be able to offer you full cover while the property isn’t being lived in, subject to terms and conditions.
Do I have any responsibilities to ensure my policy is valid?
Most specialist unoccupied policies will have certain terms and conditions that you’ll need to abide by. These may include inspecting the property regularly, ensuring all security is put into full and effective operation and ensuring some heating is running during colder months.
Should I still be doing regular checks on my unoccupied holiday home during lockdown?
As part of the conditions of unoccupied buildings cover, you may in more normal times be required to do regular inspection visits to the property. This could be you or you may have appointed a person to do this for you. During lockdown, these inspections may not be possible unless your appointed person lives very close to the property and can prove that they are inspecting it as part of their work. It’s a good idea to talk to your insurance broker to discuss whether your cover is still valid if you’re not able to carry out inspections.
If you’re concerned about your unoccupied holiday home and whether you’re covered while you’re staying away during lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic, the team at Ryan’s is on hand and ready to help. Call us on 01473 343300.