Unoccupied Property Insurance

Giving you peace of mind when your property is unoccupied.

  • £2m unoccupied property owners liability
  • 3, 6, 9 or 12 month cover available
  • UK-based support

Call us on 0344 736 8310 or get a quote online

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Why choose unoccupied property insurance with Towergate?

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Flexible unoccupied property insurance

We offer flexible vacant property insurance policies to suit you, from as little as three months with the option to extend.

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Three levels of unoccupied cover

We offer three tiers for you to choose from to provide you the right level of cover for you.

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Specialist unoccupied insurance

We can help if you are acting as an executor or have the power of attorney.

Liability

Friendly claims service

We have a dedicated claims team who will make the process as smooth as possible should the you need to make a claim.

About unoccupied property insurance

House

Buildings insurance for unoccupied properties

We cover your buildings as standard. This includes your home and its permanent fixtures and fittings, swimming pools, paths, drives, terraces, walls, hedges, gates and fences all contained within the boundaries of your land.

Money

Cover for re-build costs

We can help cover the re-build costs of your property should the worst happen, as long as your sum insured is adequate. If you aren’t sure if your sums insured are correct, or how to calculate your rebuild costs, speak to one of our friendly advisors to help guide you through the process.

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Unoccupied property owners liability

Our policies have £2 million liability insurance built in to cover you for accidental death, injury or loss / damage to third parties where you are legally liable (e.g. someone getting injured on the insured’s property due to your negligence).

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Short or long term unoccupied cover

We can offer cover for 3, 6, 9 or 12 month cover to suit all your needs.

Accidental Damage

Unoccupied property contents cover

If you want to cover more than just your building, we can optionally extend your policy for additional cover for your contents for up to £100,000, subject to underwriting criteria being met.

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Legal cover for vacant properties

We can optionally extend your cover to help with legal expenses up to £50,000.

When you need to make a claim, we'll guide you through the process and get your claim settled as quickly as possible.

  • Find your insurance documents and make sure you have all your information at hand, including your policy number.
  • Call the claims team on 03450 744 760 and explain exactly what happened.
  • Provide photos if requested to help us understand what happened as quickly as we can.
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Ready to get covered?

  • Fill in our online quote form or call us
  • Purchase your policy
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Unoccupied property insurance FAQs

If you’re moving abroad for work, you travel and stay away frequently or you have a holiday home or second home; you’re going to need slightly more than a standard home insurance policy. 

When a property is left unoccupied there can be higher risk of:

  • Damage caused by burst pipes - if the home is not heated for the duration of your trip away, pipes can freeze and subsequently burst causing damage

  • Vandals and thieves - sadly, when you’re away it can be obvious to those who make their living from stealing.

Unoccupied properties in the UK

One in seven of property owners in the UK leave their property empty for more than one month at a time. This is where a regular insurance policy may no longer be enough. When leaving your UK home unoccupied for more than 30 days at a time, there are usually conditions you must comply with to keep your insurance valid. For any longer than this, you may find your cover drop to a skeleton policy which includes only public liability and possibly fire cover, if you’re lucky.

Temporarily vacant properties

If you’re heading away for a short period of time and it’s a one off, there are policies out there to cover your home for a short time without having to buy a full year’s insurance. Unoccupied property insurance from Towergate for example, can be bought for three, six, nine or twelve months at a time. So if your business trip is for 3 months you can buy home insurance to cover the 90 days for which the home is unoccupied, and then switch back to a regular insurance policy.

If you have a holiday/second home which is unoccupied

A specialist holiday home insurance policy will be catered to the fact that you’re going to be leaving the home empty, potentially for periods of time. It’s worth discussing with your insurance provider however; depending on the circumstances it may be that the home is considered to be a second home.

Storm, flood, fire and theft - these may sound like the basics but they are very important when insuring an unoccupied home. Like we mentioned earlier, these are sometimes excluded by policies which are not designed to insure unoccupied homes so make sure you check!

Lastly, just be aware of what you’re buying. Is always best to speak to a specialist insurance provider who will be happy to guide you through what you are covered for and the terms of your cover. So you understand your insurance and stay covered all the year round.

Yes, you can add cover for home emergencies to your property insurance policy.

  • Three levels of home emergency cover, starting with emergency repairs to the primary heating system at your property
  • Extend to include emergency repairs to your drainage and water services, securing broken windows and doors - and dealing with pest infestations
  • Access to a 24-hour helpline and network of reliable UK tradespeople

Please talk to your Towergate adviser for details.

Yes, commercial properties which are left unoccupied can be considered for cover. This is a slightly different policy and may become commercial property insurance depending on the circumstances, but call the team and talk us through your needs and we'll try and help any way we can.

You will likely need unoccupied property insurance if your property is going to be unoccupied for a period of 30 days or more. If you are unsure whether you need unoccupied property insurance, please call us for advice

Most providers will not insure or may reduce cover for properties which are left unoccupied for more than 30 days at a time. Cover from insurers who specifically deal with unoccupied properties is catered towards risks particularly common when a building is left vacant.

Yes. We can arrange instant cover. You can do this over the phone or online.

For your buildings you need to take into consideration not only the cost of rebuilding the main property but also any outbuildings, swimming pools, boundary walls etc. The value should include solicitor and surveyor fees and demolition costs. With your contents you need to consider all household goods and personal property within your unoccupied property and how much you would have to pay to replace them as new. We make a deduction for wear and tear for clothing and linen in the event of a claim.

Please call us or notify us in writing with the reason for cancellation and state the date from which you need cover to cease. Remember, if your policy is in more than one name, all policyholders will need to sign the letter. If you have any other queries, please don't hesitate to contact the customer services team on 0344 736 8232.

We have provided a summary of the key features of the policy, above. For details of the terms and conditions applicable, please refer to the insurance product information document and policy wording, which are available during the quotation process.

All policies can be paid for by either debit or credit card. 12-month policies also have a direct debit option available.

If you prefer to spread the cost of your annual premium, we offer a quick and easy direct debit scheme. When you choose to pay premiums in instalments, you will be paying under a Premium Finance plan. We will give you full details of the finance provider, and the additional cost of finance, when we provide you with your payment plan quotation. This will include the total payable, the number of monthly instalments and the cost of each, as well as the representative APR.

One in seven property owners in the UK leaves their property empty for more than one month at a time, meaning that many of us will require unoccupied property insurance at some point in our lives. This guide explains the key features of unoccupied property insurance and advice to keep your home protected while you are away.

Unoccupied home insurance is a specialist insurance policy to cover your home should you need to leave it unoccupied for a period of 30 days or more. 

There are many reasons why you may need unoccupied home insurance. Some common reasons include the following:

  • You may be unable to reside during renovations
  • You may be awaiting a probate or sale
  • You have purchased a home but will not be moving into it for more than a month
  • The occupier may have been taken into care
  • You have a long-term unoccupied property that is not your main residence

Unoccupied properties are at a higher risk of vandalism, theft, fire or escape of water. Unoccupied home insurance offers more protection for these risks than would be offered as part of a standard home insurance policy.

Your unoccupied home insurance policy will include several features that impact the amount you pay and your level of cover. These include:

Buildings insurance

Generally, the most important part of home insurance is the buildings cover. In insurance speak the building is defined as “the Home and its permanent fixtures and fittings, swimming pools, paths, drives, terraces, walls, hedges, gates and fences all contained within the boundaries of the Land.

The rebuild cost

This is the cost you should be insuring your property for. It is the most you can claim should there be a total destruction of your home. You must take into consideration the cost of demolition and clearance, solicitor, surveyor and architects fees and re-building, including outbuilding, pools boundary walls. It's important not to assume that the rebuild cost of your home will be the same as its market value. Our advisers can talk you through the process of how to work out your re-build cost.

Property owners' liability

This is often the most misunderstood or overlooked by property owners. Towergate's liability insurance is to compensate loss, damage or injury to third parties. It’s important because it is your responsibility to oversee that the property is adequately maintained and this makes you ultimately responsible. Our policy covers you for up to £2 million of damage.

Contents insurance

A great way to understand the difference between your ‘contents’ and your ‘building’ would be to (hypothetically) tip your house the wrong way up. Anything that would fall is considered contents. This would mean furniture, carpets, curtains and decorations are contents but the walls, ceiling, fixed flooring and kitchen cabinets come under buildings insurance.

Optional legal cover

Legal expenses will usually cover you up to £50,000 for the pursuit of legal action against an array of issues such as the removal of squatters, personal identity theft, nuisance or trespass.

To make sure that your insurance policy is valid, you must ensure that your property meets the following criteria:

A well maintained appearance

Most unoccupied policies will require that the property meets a certain level of repair on the outside, so as to not advertise that it is unoccupied. This means the front gardens should be well kept, the condition of the paint and walls should not appear decrepit and the windows should not be boarded.

Regular checks

A key condition that is standard on most unoccupied policies is that the property must be visited once every seven days. The person visiting the property need not be the policy holder or owner, but can be a friend, relative or managing agency. The reason for this being that the visible areas of the property must be maintained and the property should not look empty.

The main reason for this is so that any criminal damage does not go unreported and any issues with the house, such as water leaks or damage from a storm does not remain unrepaired, causing unnecessary further damage.

Security measures

In an unoccupied property, security measures are your first and last line of defence. As there’s no one at your property, this makes it more susceptible to criminal damage, break-ins and squatters. To keep your property secure, we recommend the following:

  • Key-operated devices on all opening windows and skylights
  • Approved lock or mortice deadlocks of at least five levers or that conform to BS3651
  • A rim automatic dead latch with a key locking handle on the inside

If you cannot meet security requirements for any reason, call one of our advisers directly to discuss how we may still be able to help you.

Read more FAQs

Unoccupied property insurance articles and guides

How to keep your home safe while away

We’ve put together a check list of different things to check to keep your unoccupied home safe and sound while you’re away.

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Does your property need specialist home insurance?

Phil Spencer (Location, Location, Location) discusses non-standard home insurance.

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Rightsize Your Insurance

When you insure a building, it is your responsibility to decide how much to insure it for. Your broker or insurer cannot tell you this amount.

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Electrical Safety Best Practice: Is your property electrically fit?

This guide looks at best practices of electrical safety and asks if it is enough just to satisfy your obligations as a landlord or rental property owner.

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