Empty House Insurance for Long Overseas Holiday
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- Underwritten by AXA Insurance.
- Cover for high-risk items anywhere in the world
- Includes bicycles, laptops, mobile phones and tablets*
UNOCCUPIED HOUSE INSURANCE FOR HOLIDAYS
Statistically, houses are most likely to be burgled when they are left unoccupied. This means that your home and possessions are very vulnerable when you are on a long overseas holiday. Luckily, you can take plenty of steps to secure your home and reduce the likelihood of falling prey to thieves.
In some cases, all it takes is a little common sense. Lock all the doors and windows (including your outbuildings), set the burglar alarm when you leave, put lights on a timer and keep your laptop or other electronics out of sight. You could even arrange for a friend to check on the house and collect your post, or ask a neighbour to park in the driveway. This is actually a good idea if you are away in winter because nothing shouts unoccupied more than a house surrounded by perfectly undisturbed snow!
GETTING HOUSE INSURANCE FOR EMPTY HOUSE
Securing your home doesn’t just mean literally locking everything away before you leave for the airport. Ensuring that your home insurance provider is aware that the property will be vacant for a long period of time can make all the difference should the worst happen in your absence. Vacant property insurance is also essential if your holiday is over 30 days, so bear that in mind. If you don’t inform your insurer that you will be leaving the property unoccupied then you run the risk of any claim being rejected due to an invalid home insurance policy.
Homeprotect aims to offer all of our customers the best possible insurance policy for their individual needs, at good value for money. Our unoccupied home insurance is one of the most flexible policies available, and allows you to tailor your cover for the length of time that you are away. When you return from your break, just give us a call and we can update the terms of your cover in next to no time.
Our claims hotline is open 24/7 too, so if there is an issue with your property, you can rest assured that our claims handlers are on standby to help.
Taking a special round-the-world cruise to celebrate your retirement? Visiting family who live abroad for an extended period? Spending the winter in a warm country like Spain because the savings on your heating bill and the low cost of living there mean it’s cheap to do so?
These are all common reasons why you as a homeowner might be away from your UK property for more than 30 days, but if you are then your house will be classed as unoccupied by your insurance provider and your insurance policy may be invalid.
*To cover some items away from home or items worth £1,500 or more, you may need to specifically list them on your policy.
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What’s covered by UNOCCUPIED HOME insurance?
Unoccupied home insurance cover varies depending on whether the property is empty on a short term of long term basis.
Short term unoccupancy
If the property is usually occupied but is left unoccupied for between 31 and 180 days, then you typically get all the cover of our standard policy terms, but with exception of certain exclusions, see what is and isn’t covered below:
Quick home emergency response times
Have a home emergency, such as electricity failure, faulty locks or vermin infestation? With the 24/7 Home Emergency cover, which we provide as standard, you can typically get an engineer at your home within four hours. And if you’re worried about an uncontrollable leak in your home, we aim to have an emergency plumber to you within two hours.
Extreme weather conditions may extend response time. Policy terms and claim limits apply.
5 star rated buildings cover
Our building insurance has been given the highest rating by independent financial research companies, Defaqto and Moneyfacts.
Any buildings work we undertake is guaranteed for 24 months following a claim and any contents repair work we undertake is guaranteed for 12 months.
New for old
Where we replace an item, we will do our best to meet the original specification on a ‘new for old’ basis. If we can’t find an exact replacement, we’ll offer you a suitable alternative, or a full cash settlement.
We provide Legal Protection cover as standard, giving you access to telephone legal advice on any personal legal issue, under the laws of the UK, any European Union country, the Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Switzerland and Norway.
What isn’t included?
Escape of water incidents during the period: 1 October – 1 April (inclusive).
Theft incidents, unless all security features (e.g. locks and alarms) included in your property are maintained in good working order and in full operation.
Claims involving money and high risk items (e.g. jewellery).
Damage cause gradually, or by wear and tear, or by failure to fix a known issue.
Faulty design or poor workmanship.
Damage caused by pets.
The cost of repairing or replacing items following a mechanical or electrical fault.
Long term unoccupancy
If the property is not usually occupied, or is left unoccupied for more than 180 days, there are two levels of cover. Basic cover is available online. Extended cover is available over the phone, via referral to our underwriting team. The following table compares what sort of insured events are covered:
|Insured loss||Basic cover (available online)||Extended cover (call for quote)|
|Fire, Lightning, Earthquake, Explosion, Aircraft or other flying devices (FLEEA)||✔||✔|
|Liability to the public||✔||✔|
|Escape of Water or oil||✖||✖|
|Storm or flood||✖||✔|
|Subsidence or tree roots||✖||✔|
|Theft (including attempted theft)||✖||✔|
|Collisions with wild animals or vehicles||✖||✔|
|Aerials & falling objects||✖||✔|
|Damage by emergency services||✖||✔|
Looking for more cover? Give us a call on 0330 660 1000 to talk to our team about extended cover.
UNOCCUPIED HOME Insurance Cover Levels
The following cover levels apply for both short and long-term unoccupancy:
Covers the main structure of your home if you need to rebuild or repair it.
up to £1 million
(eligibility criteria applies)
Covering the value of all your possessions in the home, on a new for old basis.
Covers emergencies that occur in your home like uncontrollable water leaks, electricity failure, faulty locks and vermin infestation. Two levels of cover are available.
up to £500
Family legal protection
Provides a 24/7 legal advice helpline and up to £25,000 cover for claims involving contract disputes and property damage. For a claim to be successful, there must be reasonable prospects (more than a 50% chance) of winning the legal case. Two levels of cover are available.
up to £25,000
Covers rebuild or repair of your outbuildings (such as detached garages, greenhouses, sheds and summerhouses).
Liability cover involving accidental death, bodily injury or illness or property damage that you are legally liable to pay.
up to £5 million
Your Questions Answered
You will need to prove you have an ‘insurable interest’ in the property for Homeprotect to provide cover. Once confirmed, the probate home insurance policy will usually be issued in the name of the executor with any beneficiaries named as additional policyholders.
There are no regulations around how long a homeowner can leave their property unoccupied. However, when it comes to purchasing vacant property insurance with Homeprotect, your home must have been unoccupied for more than 30 days.
If you’re planning to leave your home empty for an extended period, there are a few safety and security considerations. Firstly, after 30 days unoccupied, most home insurance policies are void – so, the homeowner would need an empty home insurance policy to protect against theft or damage. Many empty home insurance policies will also expect the home to be inspected regularly, water and electricity to be switched off and more.
Additional considerations include installing a home security system and using smart devices such as leak detection technology.
If you own the freehold of your flat, you should take out buildings insurance. If you live in a leasehold flat, or are a tenant, your landlord has responsibility for sourcing buildings insurance.
Empty properties carry greater risks in terms of burglary, vandalism or even squatting, and also the amount of damage caused by unnoticed issues like burst pipes.
Homeprotect needs to know if your property is unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days or more so that they can factor these increased risks into your policy terms.
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Our insurance experts are on hand if you have any questions.