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Insurance on unoccupied house

(22 Posts)
LocatingLocatingLocating Sun 07-Feb-16 20:52:29

I have a rental/BTL property which is currently unoccupied, and will be for a short while (another 30-60 days), as we are doing renovations.

I am having a nightmare with insurance. BTL house insurances (as with standard house insurances) seem to have a 30 day limit on the house being empty, which seems crazy seeing as you could easily have a gap between tenants of more than that.

Does anyone have experience of this, and what the solution may be?

As a further complexity, we have a garage on the premises which we use for storage, and this seems to be a big problem in that we can't find anyone who will cover it whilst the main house is unoccupied.


Redhound Sun 07-Feb-16 20:54:06

I'd try NFU Mutual or Endsleigh for starters

Naoko Sun 07-Feb-16 20:57:22

I have no experience personally, but could you use an insurance broker? As you say, you surely can't be the first person in this situation and an (independent!) broker would be able to figure something out, I imagine.

bb888 Sun 07-Feb-16 20:59:38

Could you stay in it overnight to break up the unoccupied bit into 2?

otherstories Sun 07-Feb-16 21:24:52

We used homeprotect when we bought our house. It was unoccupied for 3months for renovation and DH reckons it cost about £100/mth. No possessions on site though

LocatingLocatingLocating Sun 07-Feb-16 22:06:41

Thanks. House is currently unfurnished so even if we stated over a night, it doesn't count as occupied unfortunately.

We've tried a financial advisor (who sorted our BTL mortgage) but he's struggling. Although I suppose you can never be sure how much effort is being put in. Guess theirs not much commission to be paid.

Any recommendations on brokers? I'll also try home protect, endsleigh and NFU.

ChishandFips33 Sun 07-Feb-16 22:38:42

Adrian Flux?

mrsmortis Mon 08-Feb-16 15:31:01

I've used A-Plan in the past. They found me insurance in weird circumstances.

There is a specific type of insurance called renovation insurance which I think is what you need here. That covers your liability, all the work being done, and the property being empty. Try searching for that rather than building insurance.

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Mon 08-Feb-16 15:32:53

I would recommend Alan Boswell.

AgathaF Mon 08-Feb-16 16:06:21

We used Tower Gate recently for the same sort of scenario. It cost around £130 for three months, which was just long enough for the renovation, then we took out landlords insurance on it.

AgathaF Mon 08-Feb-16 16:07:05

If you google 'unoccupied house insurance' their details should come up.

linspins Mon 08-Feb-16 21:54:08

Just going through this myself, as we are about to buy up a property to renovate for three months before we move in. It's really difficult to find unoccupied property insurance, even though someone will be there every day, just not at night. We only need buildings, not contents. I have spoken to some companies already, but the amount of details they need is staggering, and lots of it I don't know yet, cos we don't own the house.
If you find a good one, let me know!

Fizrim Mon 08-Feb-16 21:56:46

When we were landlords and left the property empty to sell it, the insurance company that we used gave us somewhere else to ring - DH did it so I can't remember the name but have you tried asking your current provider for a contact? That won't help linspins much, though.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 08-Feb-16 22:03:08

Endsleigh have a sub brand called Wood something or other who sorted this for me. I've posted before so if you search my name it should come up.

linspins Mon 08-Feb-16 22:19:41

Annoyinly enough, our current provider is happy to insure our new house once we live in it, just not before that.

linspins Mon 08-Feb-16 22:20:56

Woodstock is one of the companies that I'm trying to get a quote through.

LocatingLocatingLocating Tue 09-Feb-16 20:33:21

Thanks all. Really useful.

I've tried Adrian Flux and Home protect, who both said they could help, but I'm still waiting for them to get back to me with the details!

In the meantime my current insurer (Uinsure) look like they may consider extending the 30 day limit for another 30 days, which would be the simplest option.

linspins Tue 09-Feb-16 20:42:30

I got my quote back today from Woodstock, after providing them with every detail under the sun, and it came to £676 for a year. I told them upfront that we would only need 3-4 months cover. I then asked if we could pay monthly and cancel when we didn't need it, but the reply was that there was a clause stating a minimum spend ( which came to over six months of the premium), plus a cancellation fee from the insurer, plus a cancellation fee from the broker, adding up to the fact that we would get £85 at most, even if we only needed three month. Pretty fed up.
Going to try someone else.

ChishandFips33 Wed 10-Feb-16 05:48:48

Wow Linspins!
We've used Adrian Flux a fair bit and a policy for a yr was only a little over £200 - empty/renovation.
Def keep asking round

InsertUsernameHere Wed 10-Feb-16 08:51:46

We used renovation plan when our house was empty and being renovated - expensive but better small print. Depends on the extent of your work - lots of the ones I looked at said you needed not to have Windows boarded up etc...

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 10-Feb-16 11:24:01

Oh that's a shame about Woodstock. They gave us by far the cheapest quote although it did have some random clauses like inspections every 7 days. At the end of the period I needed it for I switched to a landlord policy and the waived the cancellations fees and I got a small refund of the difference.

We had quotes ranging from £350ish to over £900 for a year to insure a 2 bed listed house in London that was unoccupied and having renovation work.

It was a ball ache getting cover and I spent a whole day on the phone.

linspins Wed 10-Feb-16 16:54:57

Yup, I'm glad I've got free calls on my mobile, as it's taking ages on the phone. To make it more complicated, the house on next to, but not on, a flood plain. So the fields behind it occasionally flood, they are supposed to. But the house is up a big slope and has never flooded or even the garden. The flood risk maps for 'once in every 1000 years' show the house is quite safe. But because I can't answer "no" to 'is the property more than 500 metres away from any flood risk,' they want all sorts of details that I just don't know the answer to, like when exactly did the fields flood, how often does it happen etc. arghhhhhh!
Chishandfips, I'll try Adrian flux.

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