Unoccupied home insurance if you work abroad

  • Do you travel and stay away frequently with your job?
  • Are you in the process of moving abroad for work?
  • Do you own a holiday home or second home?

These are all common reasons why, as a homeowner, you might be away from your UK property for more than 30 days. And if you are, and you haven’t chosen to rent your property out, then your home could be classed as unoccupied. With this in mind, you’re going to need to consider something that offers a little more than a standard home insurance policy, unoccupied property insurance.

If you’re heading away for a family trip of a lifetime, like a safari or round the world trip, and it’s a one off, there are policies out there to cover your home for a short period of time without you having to buy a full year’s insurance policy. Or let’s say you’re off on a business trip for 3 months – there is insurance available to cover you for those 90 days before switching back to your regular home insurance policy.

Here, we talk you through some of the considerations you need to make to ensure your home is protected all year round.

Unoccupied property insurance

Empty houses, while they can be an asset, can also be a risk and you may find that some companies are reluctant to provide unoccupied property insurance.

Generally, a property which is left unoccupied and unchecked is more at risk than one that’s lived in. Empty properties are at increased risk of burglary, vandalism, arson, water damage through burst pipes or faulty heating systems and more. In addition, the extent of damage caused can be more extensive because there is no one there to take action.

You can take steps to protect your home by having someone look after it while you are away, but the first line of defence to consider should be a home insurance policy specifically designed for empty or vacant homes.

When leaving your property unoccupied, there are often conditions you must comply with to keep your insurance valid. 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. Having an insurance policy that is specially tailored to unoccupied houses will help you to recoup your losses in the event of a claim.