Unoccupied property insurance

Flexible cover for properties awaiting probate, sale or refurbishment

*If you have DIRECT responsibility for an unoccupied residential property click the Get A Quote button.
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A message to our policyholders

In light of recent events, we have posted a message to all of our policyholders on the steps we’ve taken to maintain our high level of customer service and how you can get in touch with us. You can read more here.

If, as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), you are experiencing temporary financial difficulties and/or may have difficulty with future premium payments, please contact our customer service team on 0800 316 9842. We will discuss your situation with you to establish if there are any measures which can be taken which may assist you at this time.

Our products

Unoccupied home insurance

Many standard household policies restrict cover or even automatically cease cover when a property becomes unoccupied. Guardcover's solution is wholly focused on insuring empty properties and in most cases offering a product without unnecessary terms to comply with. We've been insuring properties for over 20 years.

 

Unoccupied and probate insurance for solicitors

We work alongside hundreds of solicitors firms each year - insuring residential and commercial properties for them and their clients for over 20 years.

Your unoccupied property quote

Our unoccupied property insurance caters for most types of property, whether it's a private house or flat, small commercial property, or even if it's just land you need to insure.

Residential property owner, landlord, executor or power of attorney - if you have direct responsibility for an unoccupied residential property that needs insuring, then you can get a quote online - just click our GET A QUOTE buttons.

Commercial / Acting on behalf of a client - if you have an unoccupied commercial property or you are looking to insure any type of property on behalf of a client, then please call us on: 0800 316 9842

Specifically tailored to insure unoccupied properties

If a property you are responsible for is left unoccupied for more than 30 days, whether it's a gap in tenancy, being renovated, in probate or intestate, or even going through the conveyancing process, it's likely that cover may be restricted on a standard home insurance policy.

Trying to find insurance cover for an unoccupied property can be a minefield of restrictive covers and a list of terms and conditions that you must undertake. Some insurers put in place stringent terms (“Unoccupied Building Conditions”) which must be enforced before they will provide cover. For example, draining down the water systems, switching off the utilities, weekly documented visits, installing certain locks, sealing up letterboxes, etc. Failure to comply could lead to a claim being turned down.

For most standard-construction properties that have been unoccupied for less than 12 months, and are under £500k in rebuild value, you can choose which, if any, conditions you want to include. This is why our cover for properties that have been unoccupied for less than 12 months is possibly the most flexible solution available.

What's included?

We can cover damage to your insured property caused by:

We can even insure areas of land that are in probate. Excesses, terms and conditions and full details are available in the policy documentation. (Excludes damage caused by frost and wear & tear. As well as damage to gates and fencing caused by weather-related incidents).

Get a quote

Essential protection for your property.

Our wide-ranging cover goes beyond some of the standard ‘unoccupied property’ policies. Taken a fall through your ceiling? Or discovered that your property has been singled out and damaged? Our cover will help.

What does theft & attempted theft insurance cover?

Empty properties can sometimes attract the wrong attention, which is why our buildings cover includes damage caused by break-ins or attempted break-ins. You can also include our contents cover if you have specific items that are being left in the home. Security requirements apply.

Including water from a plumbing or heating system.

We understand that water damage can be extensive, especially in a home where there is no one regularly about. We automatically cover escape of water from any tank, apparatus, or pipe; or escape of fuel from any fixed oil heating installation.

Do you have a dangerous tree?

If there has been one storm too many and a tree damages your property, our cover can help get your house fixed and back in to shape.

Protection against unforeseen events.

Our policy includes cover for times when the damage can be serious; which may result from the consequences of a storm, flood, fire, or incident of subsidence.

£2million if insuring land only.

If someone is on your property and they injure themselves or damage property belonging to them, then there is the potential that they could hold you liable. If that happens, our liability cover will help cover court costs and potential compensation.

Maximum £5,000 per claim and £15,000 per policy period.

We will pay for the cost of changing locks at your insured property if the keys are lost following a theft or attempted theft from your property or your home. This also includes digital access cards, safe keys, or safe combination access codes.

Maximum £500 per claim (£2,500 in any one period).

Worried about the potential damage that one of your trees might cause? We can cover the reasonable costs of lopping or removing trees, which you are responsible for, if they are at risk of injuring someone or damaging your property. Confirmation required by an approved, qualified person.

Found unwanted rubbish at your property?

If your unoccupied home has been picked out as the ‘local dumping ground’, we will cover the costs of clearing and removing any property illegally deposited in or around your insured premises. Up to £5,000 cover per period of insurance (policy does not cover the first £1,000 of any claim).

Up to £5,000 per policy period.

Trying to find the source of a leak can often require professional help. We will pay reasonable costs required to locate the actual source of damage caused by the escape of water from any tank, apparatus or pipe, or leakage of fuel from any fixed oil heating installation.

Excludes damage to glass in transit or being fitted.

If you discover a broken window, our cover will include the costs of boarding up, if necessary, and replacement of the broken glass. Excludes damage to glass in transit or being fitted.

We're here to help.

24 hour, 365 days a year claims helpline, providing emergency assistance where needed.

Assisting you with your queries.

Risk services helpline for advice on fire, security & other risk-related issues (Monday - Friday - 9am - 5pm).

Key features

With over 20 years' experience of serving the unoccupied community, we understand the needs of solicitors, home owners, conveyancers and more. To ensure we cover a variety of eventualities we have spoken to our customers, partners and solicitors to ensure we include features for all types of unoccupied property situations. We understand that every property is different, requiring its own specific policy.

Flexible policy terms

Cover that gives you flexibility with policy terms of 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months available.

No inspections

For most residential properties, recently unoccupied, you can choose cover to exclude regular, documented property visits.

Non-standard construction

We understand that properties come in all shapes and sizes, which is why cover is available for many non-standard construction types including most timber-framed, pre-fabricated, flat-roof and other building types.

Wide range of cover

Whilst other insurance policies can look to limit the cover available for your property at a time when you need the cover most, we provide a wide range of covers for your unoccupied property.

Variety of circumstances

We can cover most circumstances from properties going through probate, deputyship and power of attorney, to extended holidays and secondments and buy to let gaps in residency.

Contents cover

Whilst unoccupied properties are at increased risk of vandalism, theft or access by squatters, we can still provide contents cover alongside your building cover.

Security discount

Our pricing for your unoccupied property insurance cover will automatically include a discount covering the different levels of security in operation at your property.

Making a claim with Unoccupied Property

We’ve made making a claim so easy

Our easy-to-use claims process is listed below with some helpful information regarding what to do if you need to make a claim.

1. Call the police

If youve been the victim of theft or malicious damage, your first port of call should be to inform the police.

2. Contact our claims team

Contact our in-house UK team to make your claim. You can call us on:
0800 015 1498 with the details of your claim.

3. Make your claim

We'll provide you with your claim reference and talk you through the next steps. Should we need any further information to help process your claim, we can explain what's needed and support you.

Unoccupied Property insurance FAQs

How to protect your home when it’s unoccupied

If you are planning an extended holiday or business trip, or you’re waiting for a new tenant to move in, your home may be empty for some time. Home insurance tends to cover an unoccupied home for no more than 30 days. If it’s going to be empty for longer than that, you should consider taking out unoccupied home insurance. Here is what you need to know.

Unoccupied home insurance covers you when your home is empty for more than 30 days in a row. It may be that there’s a gap in the tenancy, you’re working abroad, or the property is going through a probate or conveyancing process while waiting to be sold. Whatever the reason for the property being unoccupied, you could find that a standard home insurance policy doesn’t provide enough cover or has specific conditions imposed as a requirement of covering the empty home.

If you have a house or flat that’s empty for more than 30 days in a row, it’s worth considering taking out an unoccupied home insurance policy. An unoccupied house could be an easy target for thieves. What’s more, if the property is damaged by fire or water while there’s no one living there, this might not be covered under a standard home insurance policy. So, if you know your property is going to be empty for some time, it’s worth investigating unoccupied home insurance. Get a quote today

We are able to provide a wide range of covers for your empty or unoccupied home that can include:

• Accidental & malicious damage

• Fire, Storm & flood

• Breakage of glass

• Impact from falling trees

• Theft & attempted theft

• Escape of water or oil (including water from a plumbing or heating system)

• Subsidence

• Excesses, terms and conditions and full details are available in the policy documentation.

Unoccupied properties are at increased risk of vandalism, theft, or access by squatters. Get a quote today

Property Owner’s Liability

Protects against your legal liability for bodily injury to third parties and damage to their property for incidents that occur at the insured property.

Fly Tipping

Reasonable costs of clearing and removing property that has been illegally de-posited in or around your property. Up to a maximum of £5,000.

Changing Locks

Following a theft, attempted theft or if you lose your keys. Up to a maximum of £5,000.

Employer’s Liability

Covers your legal liability for bodily injury to your employees up to a limit of indemnity of £10,000,000 including costs and expenses.

We offer a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year claims helpline, providing emergency assistance when it’s needed. Plus, a Risk Services Help Line – office hours – where you can get advice on safety, fire, security, and other risk-related issues. You can contact our Risk Services Help Line on: 0345 366 66 66

Vacant properties are those with no people or personal items in them. For example, an unfurnished house that’s normally rented but currently has no tenants.

Unoccupied properties are those which have personal possessions in them, but where nobody has lived for 30 days in a row, or more. Your property could be unoccupied because you work away from home. Or, it’s a furnished flat that’s normally rented but currently has no tenants. It could also cover any property in probate that still has people living in it.

Standard home insurance policies generally cover a 12-month period. At Guardcover we know you might not need to insure your unoccupied property for as long as 12 months. That’s why we offer more flexible cover, with policy terms of 1, 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.

Short term unoccupied home insurance allows you to take out cover that’s better suited to your needs. For example, we can provide unoccupied home insurance cover with policy terms of 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months.

If you have a standard home insurance policy, it’s really important you let your insurance provider know if your home is going be unoccupied for longer than the period covered by the policy.

If you don’t, you could risk invalidating your insurance and having any future claims turned down. If your home is going to become unoccupied, it’s a good idea to consider taking out a specialist unoccupied home insurance policy.

The cost of unoccupied home insurance depends on the value of your house, where the property is located, and how long you want to insure it for.

At Guardcover, we offer flexible policy terms of 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, so you can find the most cost-effective cover for you.

We also take into account other factors that could reduce the cost of your cover. For example, if wanted to include specific “Unoccupied Building Conditions” such as draining down the water systems, switching off utilities or installing certain locks. These conditions may be enforced on policies from other companies.

We are also able to offer a discount on your unoccupied property insurance, based on the level of security you have in place at the house.

Not necessarily, but there are greater risks with an unoccupied property – it may be more likely to be targeted by thieves, for example. That’s why it’s important to insure your unoccupied home, for however long the property will be unoccupied for.

You may be able to make your premium cheaper by choosing a policy term of 1, 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. Plus, we can often offer a discount based on the level of security you have in place at the property. Contact us today to find out more

Unoccupied property insurance is suitable for anyone who is responsible for an empty or vacant home. The property may be empty because:

• You work abroad or away from your home.

• You have a vacant house that isn’t your main home, for example a second home

• You have recently bought a new home and aren’t moving into it straight away

• You’re in the process of selling your home, but have already moved out

• You’re a landlord but don’t currently have a tenant in your property, so you want to ensure the property is protected

• The empty house in question is in probate, whether someone is still living there or not

• You, or the person who normally lives in the property, needs specialised care in a care home and so has to move out

Not all policies do. So, it’s important you do your research if you need to cover the contents and personal possessions in an empty house. Remember, unoccupied properties are at a greater risk of being damaged due to theft, fire, water or squatters. Guardcover can provide you with contents cover for your unoccupied property insurance to give you peace of mind. Get a quote today

If you need to make a claim for your unoccupied property insurance, please call our claims line on: 0800 316 9842

Lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In all cases, please quote your policy number. For both our protection, telephone calls may be recorded and/or monitored.

Yes, we can provide cover for escape of water from any tank, apparatus or pipe or escape of fuel from any fixed oil heating installation. If you have a leak in your empty home, we will also help cover the costs of finding and repairing it.

Some policies require you to drain down the water systems and switch off the utilities in your empty or vacant home. However, at Guardcover, we let you choose whether to include these conditions on your policy.

It depends on how long your property is going to be empty for. Typically, if the property is going to be empty for longer than 30 days in a row, you will need a specialist unoccupied house policy. If you fail to tell your standard home insurance cover provider that the property is vacant, it may invalidate your cover meaning any future claims you make could be turned down.

No, you are not legally required to insure an unoccupied property. However, you may find that a standard home insurance policy does not cover you in the event you need to make a claim.

Specialist unoccupied property insurance from Guardcover provides cover for Property Damage, Employer’s Liability and Property Owner’s Liability.

Yes, squatting in a residential property was criminalised in September 2012 under Section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. The offence is punishable by 6 months in prison, a £5,000 fine or sometimes both. Guardcover can help you cover the legal cost of evicting squatters.

You can reduce the risk of your unoccupied home being targeted by squatters. Make sure the property is well-secured by locking all doors and windows. Consider installing a security system or alarm, too. Not only will this help deter squatters, but it means we can offer you a discount on your policy.

You should immediately contact the Police, who can advise you if they can remove the squatters. If they are classed as squatters by the Police, you will have to serve them an eviction notice. Guardcover can help cover the legal costs of evicting squatters. Read more in our handy guide here

We work with probate solicitors, deputies, attorneys, surveyors and anyone responsible for a property that is unoccupied. This could include a family member appointed to care for a relative who has moved out of their home and into a care home. Or, a person who is responsible for a home in probate.

If a homeowner moves into residential care or passes away, someone else usually takes responsibility for the house. This could be a family member or a solicitor. Unoccupied property insurance policy from Guardcover is designed to give both solicitors and their clients, peace of mind that the property is protected.

Yes, Guardcover have been helping solicitors and their clients insuring unoccupied properties, or occupied properties in probate for over 20 years. Find out how we can help solicitors

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Policy documents

For customers incepted on, or after 24th February 2020, click below to access your policy wording. For customers incepted before 24th February, please contact us.