Unoccupied house insurance for homes that are for sale
When you are selling a property that you have already vacated, you must remember to protect it with unoccupied house insurance. Empty properties are susceptible to more risks than standard home insurance policies are equipped to cover, such as vandalism, squatting and arson. They are also more prone to incidents like escape of water when the property is not maintained.
Keeping your empty house safe before viewings
Most insurers define an unoccupied house as one that is left empty for 30 days or more. So even if you are waiting for the sale of your property to close in the next few months, you need to take care that the building is properly insured.
Although the house is now empty, you should take steps to maintain a lived-in appearance. Small steps like having lights on a timer, collecting post and cutting the grass can prevent burglary and act as a deterrent to vandals. Be aware that unoccupied home insurance terms can sometimes stipulate that these sorts of activities take place to maintain the security of the property.
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Is your house dressed to impress buyers?
Some estate agencies also claim that a furnished house is actually more likely to sell, as potential buyers can imagine themselves using the property based on its current layout. A clean, well decorated and lived-in home gives a much better first impression to buyers than a neglected shell.
Don’t panic if you have already moved your furniture out of the property, though. Many estate agents can provide “home staging” with rented furniture, pictures and ornaments that are designed to instil a sense of homeliness, and appeal to potential buyers.
Bear in mind that if you are selling your home over winter then you should also take care to make sure that the boiler is properly maintained. This is to avoid incidents like frozen or burst water pipes, and in many cases is a condition of vacant property insurance policies.
Once you know that your property will become empty throughout the selling process, you must tell your home insurance provider and inform them of how long the property will be empty. Since most providers will not cover an unoccupied property for more than 30 days, you may need to take out cover from a specialist insurer. In this case, we can offer you a competitive online quote for empty house insurance, short term or long term, with our flexible cover.