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Unoccupied Property Insurance for Landlords

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  • Underwritten by AXA Insurance.
  • Any length of unoccupancy*.
  • Average quote time is only 10 minutes.
Emma Myrie

Written by

Emma Myrie

Insurance Underwriting Expert

Libby Goodsearles

Reviewed by

Libby Goodsearles

Head of Marketing

Less than 1 minute

Updated: 25 Mar 2024


As a residential landlord, you’re probably well aware that standard off-the-shelf house insurance does not properly protect you or your property. Instead, you need a home insurance policy that includes cover for loss of rent, alternative accommodation for tenants, and liability for accidents and so on. But did you know that you also need to declare when you are between tenants as it could affect your cover?


It’s not uncommon for a house to be empty between tenants. You need to run through the inventory when a tenant leaves, so of course you will want to make sure that any necessary repairs or renovations are carried out before letting a new tenancy. You need to advertise, interview and be available for viewings. You might even be renting your UK home if you live abroad, and it can take more time to work with agencies to find and agree a new letting in situations like this.

The issue is that a property which is left empty for more than 30 days is classed as unoccupied by the majority of insurance providers, as your existing landlord insurance policy may not be suitable to cover you as usual.


If you have been able to find a new tenant in less than 30 days, then there is usually no need to alert your home insurance provider. However, if you know that the property will be unoccupied in the longer term, perhaps while you redecorate, then it’s a good idea to contact your insurer to let them know that the property is now empty.

This is also the opportune time to check for maintenance and security issues. In fact, cover for unoccupied let properties can be dependent on taking steps to preserve a lived-in appearance. This could mean simply keeping the driveway tidy, collecting post and monitoring the heating in the winter to prevent frozen pipes.

Many insurance providers have limitations when it comes to covering unoccupied let properties because of the number of risks involved. That’s not the case with us. We can offer you an online quote for unoccupied let property insurance, no matter how long it might be vacant. Our unoccupied home insurance policy is one of the most flexible in the market.

Best of all, if you’re an existing customer, you can let us know when the new tenancy agreement is signed and we’ll switch your unoccupied cover back to your landlord insurance policy in minutes ! Signed, sealed, delivered.

*Subject to terms and conditions.

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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:

What’s included?

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.

Repair guarantee

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.

Legal advice

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.

Lost items.

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 lossBasic 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
Accidental damage
Storm or flood
Subsidence or tree roots
Theft (including attempted theft)
Malicious damage
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:

unoccupied covers levels with homeprotect

Buildings Cover

Covers the main structure of your home, including attached garages and conservatories, if you need to rebuild or repair it following an insured loss. Also covers permanent outdoor structures such as driveways, patios and boundary walls. *More cover available if you need it.

from £25,000

Covering the value of the possessions you could take with you when moving home, such as furniture, clothing, valuables, appliances, fittings, entertainment equipment, gadgets and bikes, following an insured loss. Cover provided on a new for old basis.

up to £500

Covers sudden, unexpected emergencies, such as uncontrollable water leaks, that require immediate corrective action to prevent or limit damage to your home, or make your home secure. Two levels of cover are available, for different types of insured loss.

up to £5 million

Covers damages and claimants’ costs and expenses for your legal liability in the event of accidental death, injury or illness to a third party, or damage to property belonging to a third party.

from £20,000

Covers rebuild or repair of your outbuildings (e.g. detached garages, greenhouses, sheds and summerhouses) that are within the boundary or a communal area you’re legally responsible for, if you need to rebuild or repair them following an insured loss.

up to £25,000

Covers legal costs following an insured loss. There must be reasonable prospects of winning and the incident must have occurred during the policy term. Two levels of cover are available, for different types of insured loss.

New Customer?

If you’re deciding on whether to buy home insurance with us, you can use our latest policy booklets as a guide.

Existing Customer?

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