If you know in advance that you are going away and you have some time to prepare for leaving the home empty, then there’s no limit to how long you can leave your house unoccupied.

Before you leave, you should take some steps to ensure the property is well maintained and secure and to make it appear as though someone is at home.

Then, when the property is ready, find an insurance policy which covers long term empty homes. Most unoccupied home insurance providers will have a requirement relating to the property being checked regularly by a nominated friend or neighbour so that if damage does occur it’s reported and fixed quickly. Normally theft, accidental damage and damage caused by vandalism will be excluded from the cover too. Homeprotect provides access to online quotes for empty home insurance. If you leave home unexpectedly, for example if you are taken into a care home or you move in with a relative to care for them, you can still protect your empty home. Take as many of the property preparation steps as possible from afar to prevent arson, squatters, looting etc. Then check your current home insurance policy – if your policy only covers up to 30 days unoccupied make sure you search for alternative insurance arrangements with a provider who will cover long term unoccupied homes and switch to the new insurer, then cancel the previous policy.