Thursday, July 25, 2024

How to protect your unoccupied house

It’s likely your home will be empty at some point, whether you are away on holiday, on a business trip, or undergoing repairs. Investing in protection for your unoccupied house is a smart decision. Standard home insurance policies provide limited protection for vacant properties, usually covering them for 60 days or less. If your home is left uninhabited for any longer period, there is a much higher risk of burglary, vandalism, fire, water damage, and even potential squatting.

We’re here to help you protect your unoccupied home during an extended absence.

What is unoccupied home insurance?

Unoccupied home insurance covers a vacant home for 3, 6, or 9 months, with the option to extend if necessary. For longer periods of over 12 months, you can get a quote for a new policy near the end of the existing agreement.

Unoccupied houses: how much do they cost to insure?

Your home insurance or unoccupied property insurance premium is determined by:

  • The property’s value
  • Your desired duration for the cover
  • The reason the house is unoccupied
  • Your home security system
  • The address of your home

Insurance exclusions for unoccupied homes

It is important to read the terms and conditions of your policy, but some common examples are:

  • Damage or loss caused by leaving a window or door open or unlocked
  • Structural and extension damage
  • Contractors’ damages (but contractors should carry their own insurance)

How to strengthen the security of your unoccupied home

Most of us are familiar with the basics of leaving a house empty. You have likely already locked all your doors, and turned off the water and electricity. But if you want to protect yourself from the less predictable (but still very real) risks of an unoccupied house, there are some other things you should consider.

Upgrade your home security system

It’s worth investing in a high-quality security system for your home. Security systems can include cameras, motion detectors, and temperature sensors, as well as remote monitoring by a security company.

Utilise smart technology

By using smart home management technology, you can make it appear as if you are at home even when your physical presence is elsewhere. You can control lights, heating, and blinds with your phone. Plus, you’ll know when someone’s coming into your garden via a CCTV stream on an app. The use of home security systems is growing in popularity and can help deter crime, keep track of what’s happening at your house when you’re away, and even reduce your insurance premiums.

Maintain the property

Make sure to visit the property regularly. If you can’t visit often, ask a friend or neighbour to check on the property in your absence. By having regular visitors, it appears occupied and acts as a crime deterrent. Besides reporting anything unusual, they can also keep a close eye out for burst pipes and flag any potential issues early on. If no one is available to assist you, speak to a property maintenance professional who can manage these visits for you.

Make sure tradesmen clean up after themselves when renovating

If your home is being worked on while you are away, don’t let the tradesmen leave their tools behind after a day’s work. When you leave tools behind, you make the property more appealing to burglars and intruders. If the tradesman has to leave their tools on site overnight, make sure they securely lock up the house so no uninvited guests can get in.

Out of sight, out of mind

When you’re not at home, it’s important to keep valuables locked away and out of sight. It might also be a good idea to have a trusted relative or friend watch over your valuables while you are away.

Even if you don’t have anything valuable displayed in your room, a burglar might break in simply because they see something valuable through your window. Make sure all of your windows are covered with blinds or curtains when you aren’t around. If possible, lock these items in a safe that only you have access to.

If you’re planning to leave your home unoccupied for an extended period of time, our unoccupied home insurance is the perfect solution.

We know how much pride goes into building these structures into our homes, and so we also know how devastating it is when they’re taken away. That’s why we offer flexible unoccupied home insurance policies, so that you can go on enjoying your life while still knowing that your house is protected.

Bluedrop’s unoccupied home insurance is available for properties that have been unoccupied for at least 30 days. There are flexible options available to cover different periods of time, including 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months. We also offer extended unoccupied coverage if needed.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
Sam heads up Cheshire-based PR Fire, an online platform that has already helped over 10,000 businesses to grab widespread media coverage on their news at an extremely accessible price point.

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