If your house is left unoccupied for thirty days or more, most standard home insurance policies will not pay out in the event of damage or theft. Under these circumstances – and especially if you own property which is likely to be unoccupied for a significant period, perhaps because it’s being renovated or other building work is needed – arranging unoccupied property insurance can be essential. At times like these you need to be looking at specialist building and contents insurance policies.
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These policies aren’t built around the standard year-long package but, instead, are often for three month periods with options to extend the policy where necessary. If your house takes longer to sell than intended, or if some other complication arises, you can simply extend the policy to remain protected.
Of course, the property itself must be secured before it can be insured, and it should also be in a good state of repair; the terms of your policy may also require you to remove all valuables and, if the policy is for the winter months, drain the water system and put the heating on its ‘frost’ setting to protect burst pipes.
Regular inspections may also be called for, and while they’re not often specified, the risk of burglary can be reduced by installing timers on light switches and offering a neighbour the use of your driveway for a second car.
While these precautions are good – and some may be required by policy – when choosing the policy itself it’s important to read through all options carefully, making sure that the policy you choose covers everything you need it to cover at a premium you’re comfortable paying. Choosing the right policy is always unique to your situation and should be done with great care.