Owning a second home is not uncommon in the UK, especially with the increasingly popular house sharing sector (Airbnb) growing each year. Furthermore, it’s also not uncommon for single-home owners to have an unoccupied property. In these situations, it comes as a shock to many homeowners to learn their regular home insurance will not cover a second house. Furthermore, a standard home insurance policy will not cover any property left unoccupied for 30 days or more, for any reason.
If you have an unoccupied property for long stretches of time, you need a different type of home insurance policy. Known as unoccupied house insurance, this cover is specifically designed for the unique situation of owning a home that is mostly not in use. Specifically, if your home is unoccupied for more than 30 days at a time, you will need most likely specialist unoccupied home insurance.
When you’re looking to renew buildings and contents insurance for an unoccupied property, Emerald Life is the answer. We understand getting proper cover is just as important for an unoccupied house as it is your main dwelling. Certainly, expensive disasters can happen, and in many ways, an unused property is more at risk, which may mean a higher premium, but one that reflects the proper cover that you need.
If you want to avoid paying for those disasters or having other problems with your insurer, getting a robust level of cover is important. Emerald Life’s authorised and regulated unoccupied house insurance removes the hassle by giving you direct access to effective cover. Our policy provides far-reaching protection against risks and events that can happen in any house.
What We Offer
Homeowners leave a property unoccupied for various reasons. Perhaps you are doing extensive renovations to your main dwelling, selling a house, working away, or using a second home as a holiday rental. The point is, there are many reasons a property falls vacant and it is not uncommon.
Just because your property is not in use, that does not mean it is not vulnerable to the same risks as an occupied house. In fact, an empty home arguably faces more risk because you won’t be there to spot any problems regarding security and/or damage. Therefore, Emerald Life’s unoccupied home insurance is a valuable investment.
Situations where our cover can protect you:
- Properties left unoccupied for 30 days (consecutive) or more.
- Major renovations
- Holiday homes
- Second homes
- Probate sales
- Buy-to-let properties between tenants
- Secondment or postings abroad for work
Our insurance cover is focused on providing a level of unoccupied home insurance that owners expect from a standard home insurance policy. That’s why our product includes cover against damage from buildings and contents insurance, as well as personal liability insurance.
All our business is regulared by the Financial Conduct Authority, making Emerald Life an insurance provider you can trust.
What To Look For
Buildings insurance cover is a fundamental part of any home insurance policy and perhaps the main reason why owners buy protection. Emerald Life buildings insurance is part of our unoccupied home insurance and protects against the cost of repairing or completely rebuilding your home if damage occurs.
Needless to say, the cost of undergoing major repairs of even a total rebuild would be too much for homeowners to financially handle. This is where insurance plays an important role, covering repair costs and reconstruction. Buildings insurance also covers structures such as sheds, garages, and even fencing. Home systems are also part of the package, including drainage, pipes, and electric cables.
Perhaps the best aspect of buildings insurance is it can cover the cost of rebuilding your home. Yes, it’s a relatively low-risk scenario, but do you really want to be on the hook for the whole cost of rebuilding your property if it is destroyed? Insurance covers construction, architects, demolition, and clearance costs.
Emerald Life’s inclusive approach to insurance means we understand the value customers place on flexibility. There’s no such thing as a one solution fits all policy, with different demands and budgets playing role in the decision-making process. For our unoccupied home insurance, we make it easy for all customers to find a policy across three tiers of coverage:
- Level 1 – covers damage by fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake, and aircraft
- Level 2 – covers everything in level 1 but also damage from storm, flood, snow, collision, breakage of aerials or satellite dishes, escape of oil, falling trees or posts, and subsidence
- Level 3 – covers everything in level 2 but also escape of water, theft, vandalism, and malicious damage
While your building is important and could lead to a major financial outlay in the event of loss or damage, it’s belongings that are often closer to the heart. People make attachments to the items they own, whether big and expensive or small and cheap. Having robust contents insurance cover for your unoccupied property is the best way to have peace of mind against the risks of losing your possessions.
When you take out unoccupied home insurance with Emerald Life, you cover against loss, damage, and theft of your belongings. Our cover will also protect the contents of anyone who is living with you permanently, such as family members.
Many homeowners will overlook the importance of contents insurance. This is simply because most people completely underestimate how much all the “stuff” in their property is worth. It is common for customers to believe their contents are worth much less than they are. Think about how much money you would need to replace all appliances, furniture, decorations, carpet flooring, some electronics, and other items in your home. Do you still think your possessions are not worth that much?
Nevertheless, we would always recommend having the least possible contents in the property. Not only is it a temptation for a burglar to see a house with no people but packed with stuff, but because of that, contents cover for an unoccupied property can be expensive.
Property owner liability
While buildings insurance and contents insurance are the reason most homeowners opt for cover, property owner liability is certainly a handy addition to any unoccupied home insurance policy. This insurance will cover your legal bases should a claim be made directly against you. For example, a third-party claimant places you at fault and legally liable from damage to their property, or injury, while they were in your unoccupied property.
Property owner liability insurance is arguably even more important for owners of second homes or vacant homes. Often, second homes are used by tenants or as holiday rentals, so there is more risk of a third-party incident happening. Any homeowner has a legal requirement to make their home safe for visitors.
This includes for any third parties who visit your unoccupied property, such as delivery persons, visiting friends or family members, members of the public on the exterior, tenants, or service workers. An obvious example would be the post-person delivering a parcel who twists their ankle on a pothole in your path. If injury or damage to property occurs, the post-person could hold you legally liable and make a claim against you.
Legal costs to defend a claim are always expensive, so having property owner liability insurance is a wise choice. Furthermore, liability cover from Emerald Life will also protect against other expenses, such as ambulance costs and medical treatment for the third-party.
Property liability insurance is often sold as an optional extra on top of home insurance, at additional cost. Emerald wants homeowners to have the most comprehensive cover possible, without needing to pay more. That’s why our standard home insurance policies, including unoccupied home insurance, come with property liability cover.
All property liability insurance policies come with what’s known as the limit of indemnity. This is insurance speak for the maximum amount your insurer will pay to cover you in a single claim. Emerald Life unoccupied home insurance comes with a limit of indemnity to the value of either £2 million or £5 million.
Not everyone needs a standard-length insurance policy. There are several situations where a short-term unoccupied home insurance product may be better for your requirements. This is especially true for homeowners who have an unoccupied property. A good idea in these circumstances is to get short term home insurance. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible because finding short term cover is not easy.
Emerald Life realises there are scenarios where a standard-length policy does not meet your needs. That’s why our minimum term for an unoccupied property is just three months, while six- and 12-month policies are also available.
With our standard home insurance 12-month solution, we provide a refundable policy. If you need to cancel your insurance within the 12 months, you receive a pro-rata refund on the remainder of the agreement. Importantly, we charge no admin fees to cover the cancellation. In situations where you need flexibility for your unoccupied property, the 12-month policy is a good choice because you can cancel it and get a partial refund.
How To Find It
Finding all our home insurance, including unoccupied home insurance and short-term cover, is easy. All you need to do is head to the Emerald Life website and contact us directly. While online quote comparison sites are a good start, the quotes you receive often include hidden costs you won’t see until you contact the insurer.
That’s why coming direct to Emerald Life is the top way to meet all your policy requirements at the most affordable price possible. By speaking to us, you can get affordable and extensive insurance for your unoccupied home. All our policies are completely authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), meaning you know our products are fully legal and secure.