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Unoccupied property insurance

Cover your home when it's unoccupied

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Cover your home when it’s unoccupied

What is empty house insurance?

We all know that having home insurance is a must, to protect you against a wide range of unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, like water leaks or a burglary.

But many insurance companies will want to void a policy if the home is left unoccupied for longer than a set period of time.

So, can you insure an unoccupied property?

The good news is that yes, you can. Many providers offer unoccupied property insurance – it’s just that it’s likely it won’t be included or accepted under the terms of your current policy.

Why won’t my existing insurer cover my property if it’s empty?

The unfortunate reality is that unoccupied homes are often a target for thieves, vandals and even squatters, and therefore insurers see this as a big risk. This means that unless you get unoccupied property insurance, you could be left with no cover and a hefty bill if something goes wrong.

Even if you have paid for a years’ worth of cover from your existing insurer, if you know that your property is going to be vacant for longer than the allowed time stipulated on your policy, you will need to find empty house insurance.

Empty property insurance is here to help

Rather than worrying about having to spend time and effort adjusting existing policies, temporary home insurance gives you complete peace of mind should something happen. With unoccupied insurance, you can get Full Perils cover for your empty home for up to 28 days at a time.

This means that while you’re away or while the property is waiting to be occupied again, you can rest assured knowing that you’re fully protected, thanks to your home insurance for an unoccupied house.

When could empty house insurance help me?

There are a number of reasons why your home could be left empty for an extended period of time and in many of those of situations temporary home insurance could be the ideal solution.

Here are just some of the occasions when it could be the best option for you:

For cover during probate

When a friend or family member passes away, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not their home is properly insured. With temporary unoccupied insurance in place, you can ensure the home is covered during the probate period.

Purchasing insurance for an unoccupied house policy is simple, straightforward and quick, so you can focus on what’s really important while getting the peace of mind that if something happens you will be covered.

You’re not tied into an annual policy, so when probate is resolved you can arrange permanent cover or hand over responsibility to new owners.

It’s the hassle-free solution that can save you time and money.

When a building is undergoing renovation or refurbishment

If you’re lucky enough to be having extensive refurbishments to improve your home, then you might leave your property for an extended period of time to keep out of the way while the work’s done.

You’ve probably already had to fork out a load of money to cover the costs of the renovations, so why choose an insurance policy that’s going to cost you more than it needs to?

With extensive refurbishments taking place there is an increased risk of damage to the property, and if your home is left empty for more than 30 days (or the specific duration stated on your home insurance policy) you might not be covered.

That’s where unoccupied property insurance, and particularly unoccupied building insurance, come to the rescue. These would even cover the high cost that could come if an member of the public is injured in your property while it’s not being lived in. Covered by the public liability section of the policy, it could end up saving you thousands of pounds.

Temporary unoccupied property insurance

If you’re taking an extended holiday

Everyone loves long holidays, but what’s not so fun is finding out that your existing home insurance provider won’t cover you while you’re away and may even reduce the level of cover when you get back.

For many holidaymakers, this is a frustrating situation that causes stress and worries at what should be an enjoyable time.

Unfortunately, even if you leave the property vacant for just a day longer than is stated in the policy agreement, many insurance providers are unwilling to continue to give cover.

Thankfully, temporary house insurance for unoccupied homes is flexible and you can customise the policy to best suit your needs and budget, by selecting the level of cover you require and the duration you want.

From 7 days to one month, you get exactly the short term buildings insurance you need – no more or no less.

It’s ideal for extended holidays, business trips and family emergencies. So Instead of worrying about what will happen to your home and contents while you’re away, get contents and building insurance for your unoccupied house and know that you’re covered.

What does temporary unoccupied property insurance cover?

There are different levels of cover you can get through building insurance for an unoccupied house, depending on your circumstances.

First and foremost you can choose what you want to be insured on your short term empty property insurance. We can offer cover for your building only, your contents only, or both.

Contents only insurance will cover:

  • Tenants fixtures and fittings
  • Radio and television aerials and satellite dishes
  • Deeds, registered bonds and other personal documents
  • Personal belongings (Clothes, entertainment equipment, sports equipment, camping gear and more)
  • Pedal bikes which are stored within the house

The ‘building’ is defined as the home and the decorations, including fixtures and fittings attached to the home which you own or are legally responsible for.

Things excluded on your building insurance for an unoccupied house, that meet that definition, include:

  • Swimming pools
  • Drives
  • Patios
  • Terraces
  • Walls
  • Gates
  • Fences

Neither of these lists is exhaustive and other exclusions will apply. Consult your policy wording for more detailed information.

Once you’ve selected what you want to be insured, you can select the level of cover you require. There are two levels of temporary home insurance available:

Full perils unoccupied insurance

This is the highest level of insurance possible. You can think of it as the home insurance equivalent of comprehensive car insurance, and will cover ‘all-risks’ unless specifically excluded in the policy wording.

For complete peace of mind, this is the best option, but you can expect to pay slightly more for the higher level of cover. If this doesn’t fit your budget, then you can opt for the reduced level of cover.


As a reduced level of cover, FLEEA cover specifically insures against the threats of Fire, Lightning, Explosion, Earthquake, and Aircraft.

Although designed to only cover these 5 specific perils, it will also insure you against any associated damage caused by one or more of these perils – For example, items dropped from an aircraft or smoke damage from a fire would also be covered.

Whatever level of cover you require, getting a quote is easy and takes just a few minutes. Start a quote now or find out more about how unoccupied home insurance could be the ideal insurance solution for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does unoccupied home insurance cost?

What you’ll pay for your unoccupied property insurance will depend on a few factors. These include your home’s value, where it’s located and its level of security, as well as policy details of your choosing like the term length and level of coverage.

Is it more expensive to insure a vacant house?

Generally, you can expect to pay a little more than you otherwise would to cover an empty property. Because no one’s around, your home is at higher risk of vandalism and burglary. But a temporary policy is the best way to make sure you don’t pay over the odds, as you only pay for the period of cover you actually need.

What does unoccupied mean for home insurance?

What’s classed as ‘unoccupied’ will vary from provider to provider, but it’s usually 30 days. You should always check your existing policy to see what your insurer’s terms and definitions are.

How long can you leave your house empty?

That depends. If you’re relying solely on your existing home insurance policy, it could be as little as three weeks before your cover is invalid, and you’re put at risk. But provided you arrange temporary buildings insurance for an unoccupied home, there’s no real limit to how long you could leave the house empty – you’d just need to keep taking out the cover.

Can you insure a house that’s empty of contents?

Yes. If you’re not storing any possessions in the house, you’ll get all the protection you need just through taking out building insurance for unoccupied houses. In this case, you wouldn’t want or need to pay for any contents cover.

Can you insure a house you don’t live in?

Yes. While temporary unoccupied house insurance is great for covering your home during those extended holidays, it can also be used on places you don’t stay in. If you’re the legal owner of the house but don’t spend any time living there, unoccupied buildings insurance will keep you protected and make sure you don’t pay more than you need to.

What insurance companies cover vacant homes?

There are many companies willing to offer unoccupied property insurance, it’s just that most won’t include it in their annual policies, and offer it as an additional or separate product. At Tempcover, we work with an industry leading panel of insurers, to ensure we can find the perfect cover for you.

What other property insurance policies can I get?

If you need property insurance for different circumstances, take a look at our temporary home insurance policies instead.