Empty Property Insurance Is Expensive!
Published: 10 July 2012
By Diane Ray Leave a Comment
Updated: 19 January 2013
I have an elderly Aunt who having had a stroke and being in hospital and rehabilitation has decided, at least for the time being, is going to stay in a residential home. Her own home is therefore empty and I needed to arrange for empty property insurance. I was in for a shock at the cost!
My Aunt is progressing well after her stroke.
My Aunt, although elderly, has always been fiercely independent and since her husband died has lived alone. The family has helped but she has managed to do a lot for herself – until recently even cutting her own lawn!
Sadly her independence has been curtailed, at least for the time being, following the stroke which weakened her left side.
Following an operation to ‘declog’ one of her carotid arteries and a lot of fantastic care in hospital and in a rehabilitation centre, coupled with her own determination, she has made excellent progress.
From not being able to talk properly, lift her left arm or use her left hand or be able to walk, she can now talk without problem and can walk with a frame. It’s fantastic to see. However, her confidence has severely been dented.
She is staying in a residential home so her property is empty.
Physically she has been discharged by the NHS to go home with support. This means receiving carer visits up to 4 times a day. She has decided against this (I will come back to why in a future blog) and instead decided to say in a residential home.
Luckily she is in a fantastic home (again I’ll come back with more on this another time) and is continuing her recovery with all the help she could possibily want.
Lovely as it is, she is not ready to completely opt to stay in this home. For the time being therefore her own home remains empty.
Her house is an empty property as far as home insurance is concerned.
Family and neighbours are regularly going in to check all is OK but according to the definition of home insurance, it’s an unoccupied or empty property.
Her home insurance policy stated that the property must not be left unoccupied for more than 45 days.
Buying insurance for an empty property is not as straight forward as you might think. It is not a standard policy and therefore not available on such as comparison websites. In fact it is not available from many insurers.
As such, those that do offer it, charge a significant premium. I understand there are more risks but is it reasonable to charge such high premiums?
Without naming names, her existing insurer quoted a premium of well over £300 a quarter, or well over £1000 for a year, for what seemed to be absolutely minimal cover.
There are different reasons a house is empty – there’s the situation my Aunt finds herself in, through ill health she has temporarily had to move away.
Of course a house may also be unoccupied whilst renovations are carried out.
Is there empty property insurance available at reasonable cost?
Surely for the situation when a person finds themselves temporarily having to live elsewhere through ill health, there must be a better insurance policy that can be provided at a more reasonable cost?
I thankfully have access to our MoneyHighStreet insurance expert and managed to get my Aunt’s empty home insurance cover sorted for considerably less than the premium amounts quoted by others.
You may think this is all about me advertising our insurance broker services and to a degree of course that is what I am doing but bottom line is they really did get my Aunt, and therefore me, out of a sticky issue – if you need such cover I’d urge you to make contact yourselves to discuss your needs and see what they can do, use the link here to make contact.
If you are faced with an empty property, whatever you do make sure you don’t fall foul of your home insurance policy. Policies have a clause which states how long you can leave your property empty and still be covered. This is usually 30, 45 or 60 days.
Don’t ignore this and think it won’t be a problem.
If your property is left unoccupied for longer than the time stipulated and you need to make a claim you will not be covered. The cover in place will, at best, have fallen to FLEA cover , meaning it simply provides cover for the basics such as Fire, Lightening, Earthquake, Explosion or Aircraft collision.
As with all insurance it is vital that you understand the cover you need and make sure your policy provides this cover. If in any doubt talk to an expert, an insurance broker – their advice is free and they really can advise you and potentially help you save money at the same time!
And if you’ve found this useful, don’t forget ….