Updated 2 June 2020

We’re continuing to share insights on some of the key insurance areas that Brokers may be facing questions on during these challenging times. In the latest instalment of this series, we update our guidance on Unoccupied Property originally published in April 2020; highlighting the potential policy changes now coming into effect.

Renovation’s team of Underwriters are available to talk to Brokers personally regarding any questions or challenges faced in this current landscape. If that’s you, please let us know.

What is the definition of an unoccupied property? 

In insurance terms, in many cases an unoccupied property is a home that is vacant for over 30 days. Some household policies define a longer period of time, such as 60 or 90 days, depending on the policy. With movement being restricted at present, a large number of clients will be leaving their properties empty for prolonged periods of time. This could be:

  • a client’s holiday or second home they cannot visit or let
  • a house where they were due to start works but cannot because of the restrictions
  • a house in probate, or one which has completed on sale but move in dates can’t be agreed for. 

What happens if a property is unoccupied for longer than the term covered under the policy?

After the stated period of time has passed, the level of cover on the household policy will reduce automatically - as written in the policy wording. The reduction will depend on the insurer but quite often it will to reduce to FLEA only (Fire, Lightning, Explosions and Aircraft).

What is covered under a Renovation Unoccupied property insurance policy?

The property will be protected by one of three levels of cover:

  • Basic fire cover.
  • Fire and extended perils.
  • Fire, extended perils and accidental damage.

Can Renovation Underwriting cover an unoccupied property?

Our Renovation Unoccupied product can insure those vacant properties. Premiums are very competitive and the policy can cover buildings up to £5,000,000 (higher with excess layers) and contents up to £500,000. 

Do I need to contact my policyholders about this?

Unoccupied Property policy conditions are now coming into effect and may relate to a number of your clients right now. At times like this, it is more important than ever to remain in contact with your clients to help them understand their obligations and to provide them with advice on how to comply. 

A client wants to obtain a new quote, can you provide it right now?

Renovation Unoccupied quotations are available now from our underwriters and require less information that our full renovation offerings. Turnaround times are typically under 1 working day. We strongly advise that an Unoccupied Property policy is obtained for properties that are vacant for a sustained period of time. This is an issue that your clients may not be aware of; with a genuine risk of properties being left uninsured during the current situation. 

I have other questions, can you help?

The Renovation Underwriting team is committed to providing the upmost support to you and your clients; just as we always have been. If you need help interpreting the Terms and Conditions of RUL policies, or wish to discuss any specific circumstances further, here's how you can contact us

* Please note that the guidance presented here was correct at the time of publication (as shown), but we would advise you to call us to confirm the very latest updates if this content is of relevance to you.

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