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"

Click here to read the video transcript

Home Insurance for Renovations and Unoccupied Properties

So if we take your average main property, the three bedroom terrace, or the two bedroom semi-detached, with the garden, brick built and slate roof, then it’s easier for you to go on some of the aggregator sites and get a simple quick quote for that. It’s a competitive market and it’s easy to do, and so it should be. But as soon as you leave the property unoccupied or decide to develop it or rent it, or in deed take a lodger in then you need to look at some specific insurance.

So 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 but you will also need to have some specific insurance for your renovations as well for the unlikely event that you do put your foot through the floor, or damage some pipe work or any other incident that might occur.

So let’s say you’ve renovated the property and you’re ready to let it out. If you’re not living in the property yourself and you have tenants in, not all tenants are going to be as conscientious as you want them to be. And that’s why insurance companies prefer you to have specific types of landlord insurance. To make sure you covered against any eventuality. Now the same can be true if you are living in the property and you take in lodgers. You’ll need to have specific insurance for that. Your standard domestic policy is not likely to cover that, and you’re going to need a buy-to-let insurance policy or a landlord’s policy specifically.

And of course the final situation is if the property is unoccupied. Empty properties as you know pose a much higher risk to crime, not to mention all of the things that can go wrong when the properties unoccupied and there’s nobody around to deal with them. For example a frozen pipe, burst water main, or anything like that which can’t be resolved immediately because there’s no body there to spot it. And for that reason you need to make sure that your policy covers you for that. Now most insurers will expect you to notify them after the property has been empty for more than 30 days or thereabouts but a good specialist insurance company will be able to add on unoccupied insurance or remove various requirements for you as and when needed.

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