Home Insurance Advice for Renovations and Unoccupied Properties

If you’re developing or renting a property, it’s likely you’ll need some specific insurance. Developer James Dewane talks us through some of the considerations, so if you’re buying-to-let, taking a lodger or leaving unoccupied for a length of time watch our quick video.


"As soon as you leave the property unoccupied or decide to develop it or rent it - then you need to look at some specific insurance"

For the average property - a three bedroom terrace, or two bedroom semi-detached, with a garden, brick built and slate roof - it’s easy to go on some of the aggregator sites and get a simple insurance quote. However, as soon as you leave the property unoccupied, decide to develop it or rent it, or take a lodger, then you need to look at some specific home insurance.

Let’s say you’re carrying out some renovations. You’re going to have tradesmen in and out of the property and they will, or should, have their own tradesmen insurance. However, you will also need to have some specific insurance for your renovations, in the unlikely event that you put your foot through the floor, damage some pipework or suffer any other incident.

If you’ve renovated the property and you’re ready to let it out, but you’re not living in the property yourself, remember not all tenants are as conscientious as you’d want them to be. That’s why insurance companies prefer you to have specific types of landlord insurance: to make sure you covered against any eventuality. The same can be true if you are living in the property and you take in lodgers: you’ll need to have specific insurance such as a buy-to-let insurance policy or a landlord’s policy.

If the property is unoccupied, it is at much higher risk of crime, not to mention all of the things that can go wrong when there’s nobody around to deal with them. For example, a frozen pipe, burst water main, or anything which can’t be resolved immediately because there’s nobody there to spot it. For that reason, you need to make sure your policy covers you for that. Now most insurers will expect you to notify them after the property has been empty for more than about 30 days, but a good specialist insurance company will be able to add on unoccupied insurance or remove various requirements for you as and when needed.

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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