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Unoccupied property insurance

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Cover your home when it’s unoccupied

What is unoccupied property insurance?

You no doubt understand how incredibly important home insurance can be, to protect you from financial difficulties when things like burglary, water leaks or a fire strike – and to get your home back to normal as quickly as is possible afterwards. You probably wouldn’t even think twice about arranging it.

But did you know that if your house is left unoccupied for a set period of time, your regular, annual home insurance policy will no longer be valid and becomes void?

That’s where temporary unoccupied property insurance comes in…

So, can you insure an unoccupied building?

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

So, to keep your home protected, you’ll need to make alternative arrangements. If you need unoccupied home insurance for more than 60 days, we can cover your unoccupied property for 28 to 90 days – find out more about this below.

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.

Some of the most common occasions our customers come to us for unoccupied property insurance are:

  • For home insurance during probate.
  • When a building is undergoing renovation or refurbishment.
  • Taking an extended holiday that’s longer than your existing policy allows.

Temporary unoccupied property insurance

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?

How much you pay for your unoccupied home insurance will depend on lots of different factors, including where the house is located, the type of building it is, and the reason you’ll be leaving it unoccupied. But either way, temporary cover could be a much more affordable option than altering any existing policies, and prove truly worthwhile if something were to happen and your existing insurer had cut your level of cover – leaving you to foot the bill.

To get started, all you need to do is tell us a few details about yourself, like your name, age and occupation. We’ll also need you to provide information about the property you’d like to insure, and we’ll only ever ask for information that’s relevant to finding you the right home insurance.

We’ll then provide you with a few quotes from our panel of insurers, and you simply pick the best option for you. Once you’ve gone through payment, we’ll email all your policy documents to you right away.

After that, you’re good to go. Your cover will kick in at whatever time and date you specified, and you can make the most of your Full Perils insurance for unoccupied homes, for up to 28 days at a time.

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 does ‘unoccupied’ mean in the context of house insurance?

When insurers talk about a home being unoccupied, they’re referring to any span of time, measured in days, where nobody will be living at the property. And that’s not to say you’d need to have ‘moved out’ of the home for it to be classed as unoccupied. This would apply even if you’d only gone on holiday and had every intention of inhabiting the house upon your return.

How long you can leave your house unoccupied before your insurance becomes invalid will vary from policy to policy, and insurer to insurer. But it’s usually sometime between 30 and 60 days. That means if you’re planning a long holiday or to move out during major works, you’ll need to find alternative arrangements.

Can i get a 90-day unoccupied property insurance policy?

Yes. Unoccupied house insurance is available to almost all homeowners and is offered by a wide range of providers. It’s a form of temporary insurance, and you can take out cover for up to 28 days at a time so three consecutive policies will cover you for three months, or a little under 90 days. Naturally this also applies if you need unoccupied property insurance for 60 days or more.

Even if you can adjust your annual policy in the event your home is unoccupied for 3 months, you could be charged to make the changes and you’ll probably see your premiums rise. That’s why a temporary policy really could save you time and money. Available as and when you need it, you’re not tied into anything and can just let your cover lapse as soon as your home becomes occupied again.

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.