Unoccupied or Empty Property Insurance

To help protect your empty home until it’s ready to be occupied again

What is unoccupied insurance?

Insurance for empty properties focuses on the perils that can occur over a period of time when they are left without occupants. Ours looks to cover the needs of landlords in place of landlord insurance when the property is unoccupied.

What does unoccupied home insurance cover?

Our Unoccupied Property Insurance can cover buildings and contents. This includes protection such as FLEE (fire damage, lightning, earthquake or explosion), theft or attempted theft, and subsidence. A property left unoccupied may also benefit from our accidental and malicious damage cover.

Building insurance for a vacant property – cover for loss or damage directly caused by a range of insured events, including fly tipping and removal of pests.

Contents insurance for a vacant property – cover for loss or damage directly caused by a range of insured events, including attempted theft and malicious damage.

Liability cover for an unoccupied property – property owners’ liability and legal liability as a landlord.

The benefits of our Unoccupied Property Insurance

Our empty property insurance can cater for a range of empty house scenarios, including residential properties that are:

  • In between tenants or awaiting tenants   
  • Undergoing building works or renovation works
  • Awaiting work or renovations
  • Being redecorated   
  • Empty due to the owner having moved into a care home   
  • Empty due to the owner being in hospital   
  • In probate as the owner has passed away
  • Empty due to the owner living or working abroad   
  • Awaiting a new owner moving in 

If you require empty home insurance for a reason not listed, get in touch and let us know your situation. As a specialist insurance provider, we aim to help you find suitable cover.

Our Unoccupied Property Insurance is a 12 month policy that covers any length of time unoccupied home is empty. You can pay by interest-free Direct Debit over 12 months.

Once your let is occupied again, we may be able to switch your insurance policy to one for rental properties or UK holiday homes.

Choose from two levels of cover to suit your needs

Other insurance providers may offer multiple add-ons, but we’ve kept it simple and developed two options. To make our product suitable for as many situations as possible, we have the following levels of cover available:

Our full cover

You will have cover for the full range of perils listed in our Unoccupied Property Insurance policy wording.

Our restricted cover

You can choose to restrict cover to fire, lightning, earthquake, explosion and property owners’ liability only.

Cover can be amended at a later date to our Landlord Insurance or UK Holiday Home policy. This is subject to our underwriting criteria at the time.

Policy limits and exclusions may apply, please see our policy wording for a full list of covers, including additional cover provided as standard.

Our frequently asked questions

Please note that these frequently asked questions are not a substitute for the policy wording. For full terms and conditions please see the policy documentation.

When do I need vacant property insurance?

There are a number of scenarios that may require this type of insurance. Our unoccupied home insurance has been created with rental properties in mind. 

When your property is going through a void period, also known as an unoccupied period, it might not be protected by standard home insurance. This is why it’s worth considering if unoccupied property insurance can provide you with more suitable cover.

How can I insure my unoccupied property?

If you are in need of unoccupied home insurance, you can use our online form to get a quote.

Our form will ask you to specify details such as the address of your empty house, what the building is made of, and previous insurance history. 

If we are able to offer you unoccupied home insurance cover, you will be provided a quote, our policy documents, and a summary of the cover. You will then have the option to proceed with the purchase an insurance policy.

As an insurance provider of specialist cover, we can offer protection for a range of needs, as well as for an empty property. 

Landlord Insurance, which is also referred to as Buy to Let Insurance, can include the following:

We also offer Rent Guarantee Insurance to help protect rental income if tenants can’t or won’t pay the rent.

Our UK Holiday Home Insurance/Second Home Insurance can also be suitable for Airbnb properties.

If you are in need of cover for more than one property, you may be able to benefit from multiple property insurance on one policy.

What is a void period?

A void period, also known as an unoccupied period, is when there is no one staying overnight at the premises for a length of time. This length of time can vary, but the longer a residential property is empty, the longer an issue might go unnoticed.

Typically, a void period of 30 days or more can require cover from a specialist insurance provider. Student lets might see an extended period of being empty, which we can also help with.

What could happen to make a property vacant?

A number of scenarios can leave a property unoccupied. For example, it might be undergoing a renovation or awaiting new occupants. The homeowner could be living or working abroad, or the home might be vacant due to the owner passing away or moving into care.

What is property owners’ liability cover?

This type of cover is there for your legal liability as the property owner for any amounts you become legally liable to pay for damages, including bodily injury or damage to the property caused by an accident happening at the premises.

How is unoccupied property insurance different to standard home insurance?

Standard home insurance policies can require someone to be living in the property as part of the terms and conditions. This is often due to homes being more vulnerable to certain perils when left unoccupied. For example, maintenance issues such as escape of water can go unnoticed, causing more damage the longer they are left. Equally, theft or attempted theft can become more likely if it is apparent that no one is living in the property.

Does empty property cover provide probate house insurance?

Our cover is suitable for a number of scenarios for empty properties, including ones in probate*. Buildings insurance and contents insurance are available for unoccupied properties in probate.

How much does unoccupied house insurance cost?

All insurance providers vary in the prices they charge, as the level of cover can be different. Often there will be add-ons to the basic level of cover, which can also increase the price you are quoted.

However, at Just Landlords we offer just two levels of cover in order to make it clear exactly what your options are. Whether you choose our full or restricted cover* for your unoccupied property, it will cost you the one price stated in the quote you receive.

Does vacant property insurance include legal expenses?

Depending on the level of cover, insurance for vacant properties can help to cover legal expenses. Our Unoccupied Property Insurance can cover legal expenses for accidents to domestic staff, property owners’ liability, and occupier or landlord’s liability*.

What can I do to keep my empty property safe?

Unoccupied properties can be exposed to certain perils that are not as prevalent when someone is living there. There are steps you can take to help keep your unoccupied property safe from damage whilst it is empty. Two factors worth considering are maintenance upkeep and theft deterrents.

Keeping an eye on the condition of the property with regular inspections can help you to catch any issues that arise as early as possible. For example, if a pest problem develops you can look for signs of an infestation on the property. You can also check locks on doors and windows for signs of attempted forced entry, to help ensure the property remains secure.

You may want to consider having the unoccupied property professionally drained during colder months to help avoid water damage caused by a burst pipe. Unoccupied home insurance cover can also help to provide peace of mind that you have suitable protection.

You can read a list of suggested tips in our guide to empty property security tips for landlords.

Do I need to check up on an empty house?

It can be worth checking up on an empty property to catch any issues early. Regular visits might also help to deter any potential burglars. Our Unoccupied Property Insurance requires the policyholder to inspect the unoccupied property at least once every month between February to October and every 14 days during November to January. 

Accurate records of these inspections and any work done to maintain the security of the premises should be kept. In the event of a claim, you may be asked for these documents.

Does your buildings insurance provide cover for water damage?

Water damage is included in our unoccupied property cover, as well as perils such as storm damage. The full list of covers can be found in our unoccupied property insurance policy documents.

How can I find out the rebuild cost of my unoccupied property?

A survey of the property can help you find out the rebuild value of your unoccupied property. Alternatively, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) website provides a rebuild calculator that can help to give an indication of cost.

How do I make a claim?

We aim to deal with a claim as quickly and as efficiently as possible. For every claim, we must receive a completed claim form. You can do this online or download a claim form to fill out and send to us.

All claim forms must be fully completed, including up to two separate independent estimates or quotations for any damage or items that form your claim. We will need you to substantiate your loss and its value.

For more information on how to make a claim, including where to send a completed form, visit our Make a Claim page.

Do I need to tell my insurance provider if my property is going to be unoccupied?

Yes, if your property is empty, your home insurance may no longer be valid. Your home insurance provider may advise you that your cover is restricted or that it needs to be changed to unoccupied home insurance cover.

*Policy limits and exclusions may apply, please see our policy wording for full terms and conditions.

Looking for suitable property insurance?

We can provide cover for the following:

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  • Gallagher – Just Landlords is a trading name of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited. Part of the Arthur J. Gallagher & Co group of companies.