Table of Contents Hide
- What is Short Term House Insurance?
- Can I get Regular House Insurance for a Short Period of Time?
- Do you Require Temporary Home Insurance?
- Why do I require more cover for my unoccupied property?
- Why doesn’t my homeowner’s insurance cover an empty house?
- What does short term house insurance cover?
- What you should know about short-term house insurance
- What are the best policies for short term house insurance?
- To receive temporary home insurance, what do you need to inform your insurer?
- Can I get low-cost short-term home insurance?
- What isn’t covered by unoccupied home insurance?
- What is the cost of unoccupied home insurance?
- Is it necessary to have additional security in an unoccupied property?
- What if I don’t tell my insurer that my house is unoccupied?
- How to get the best unoccupied home insurance policy
- In Conclusion,
- Can I insure my house for two months?
- Is unoccupied home insurance more expensive?
If you leave a property empty for an extended period of time, whether you are remodeling, traveling on a long vacation, or waiting for a house sale to close, you may require specialized short term house insurance. Here, we’ll explain what short term or unoccupied house insurance is, when you’ll need it, and how to get it. We’ll also show you how to get the best policies for your short term house insurance, as well as what these policies cover.
What is Short Term House Insurance?
Short term insurance is often called unoccupied property insurance. It provides temporary or short term insurance cover for your house while it is empty, and you can purchase only a few weeks or months of coverage at a time.
Ordinary house insurance normally prohibits you from leaving your home empty for more than a certain number of days in a row – usually 30, but sometimes up to 60 days.
If your property is empty for longer than that, you’ll need to get short term home insurance to cover it while it’s empty.
Can I get Regular House Insurance for a Short Period of Time?
No, most homeowner’s insurance policies only cover your home for a year. Unoccupied home insurance is the only way to get home insurance for a short term.
But what if you only need cover for a few days and you’ll still be living there? Maybe you’ve put your home on the market, it’s under contract, and you’ll be out in a few weeks or months.
You can still buy an annual policy and cancel it for a pro-rata reimbursement of unused months if you move in this situation. However, there may be administrative fees.
You could also choose to transfer the policy to your new home. There will very certainly be an administration fee to pay, and rates may increase (or reduce) as well.
Do you Require Temporary Home Insurance?
Yes, if you plan to keep your home empty for longer than the maximum amount of time your home insurer allows, which is usually 30 days. If you only need home insurance for a few months, you’ll need to purchase standard home insurance.
Why do I require more cover for my unoccupied property?
Burglary and vandalism are more likely when there are no occupants, therefore empty houses are considered as a higher danger. Unexpected issues, such as leaking pipes, will also go unnoticed, leaving the house open to harm.
You may require short term unoccupied home insurance for the following reasons:
- You’re going on a long vacation or working in another country.
- You are relocating to a new location while undergoing substantial renovations.
- You’re insuring an empty house or flat owned by a deceased person while you wait for probate to be granted.
- You’ve already relocated to your new home, but your old one remains empty until the transaction is completed.
- You own a vacation home that sits empty for the majority of the year.
- To enter a hospital or long-term care facility, you must leave your home empty for an extended period of time.
Why doesn’t my homeowner’s insurance cover an empty house?
Because insurers consider empty homes to be a higher risk, they are unable to cover them under a regular policy.
Break-ins and larceny are more likely in empty homes. Empty homes are also more prone to suffer major damage from ruptured water mains, frozen pipes, or electrics shorting and creating fires because there is no one at the property to identify a problem fast.
Short term or unoccupied house insurance covers this additional risk. However, it is normally more expensive than standard home insurance.
What does short term house insurance cover?
For empty or unoccupied properties, short term house insurance can cover:
- Fires, floods, storms, and leaking pipes cause damage to buildings and possessions.
- Burglaries, break-ins, and vandalism
- Coverage for public liability and legal expenditures, which might be useful in cases where squatters have taken up residence (sometimes sold as an optional extra)
What you should know about short-term house insurance
For your short-term home insurance to be legitimate, you must meet the following requirements:
- You’ll need to check on the property on a regular basis, which may be as often as once every seven days, so make sure you pick a policy that allows you to do so.
- The policy isn’t your primary residence and is usually empty.
- Lock up windows and doors properly
- During the winter, you may be asked to turn off the water at the main stopcock and have the central heating system turned on low.
What are the best policies for short term house insurance?
You should consider the following factors when looking for the finest short term house insurance policies:
- What kind of building insurance do you need? Make sure you have adequate insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your home if the worst happens.
- If you intend to keep the contents of the property, calculate the replacement value of everything. This is necessary in the event that they are all destroyed or stolen.
- The duration of cover you require: Select a policy that will cover you for the time term you require. Most policies allow you to choose between three, six, nine, or twelve months of cover.
For your unoccupied home, shop around for the finest short-term house insurance policies.
To receive temporary home insurance, what do you need to inform your insurer?
When you buy a temporary home insurance policy, you must tell your insurer how long the house will be unoccupied.
They’ll also want to know about the property’s condition, such as any damage to the windows, doors, or roof.
If you do not tell the truth about the property when you apply, it may invalidate your policy meaning you will not be able to claim when you really need to.
What might the short-term unoccupied house insurance provider request that I do to keep my home safe while I’m away from it?
Your insurer may also request that you do some of the following before they offer you short-term unoccupied house insurance:
- Visit the property regularly
- Keep the heating on a timer to avoid pipes freezing or bursting
- Turn off the mains water supply and electricity.
- If you’re renovating the unoccupied property, always check you can get cover before you start.
Can I get low-cost short-term home insurance?
Obtaining low-cost short-term home insurance should never be your first concern. Getting the correct level of cover for your needs should always be your top focus.
Once you’ve decided on the level of short-term home insurance cover you want, you can compare policies to find the best cover. It’s a good idea to browse around.
Short-term home insurance is likely to be more expensive than regular home insurance. That’s because, in most cases, if something goes wrong in an unoccupied house – such as a fire or a burst pipe – no one will be able to respond immediately.
You can also save money on your short-term home insurance by doing a few additional things. These are some of them:
- Before you apply, remove any precious items from the property.
- Install an alarm system or additional locks to make the property more secure.
- Join a Neighbourhood Watch program to inform criminals know that your neighbours watch your home.
- Increase your policy’s excess. Just be sure you have enough money to cover the excess if you need to file a claim.
You could gain the following benefits as part of your short-term unoccupied house insurance policy:
Temporary structures including:
- Contents cover that is only temporary
- Liability cover for property owners
- Legal fees are covered.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that each temporary home insurance policy is unique. You’ll want to double-check yours to see exactly what you’re covered for, how much coverage you have, and what you’re not.
What isn’t covered by unoccupied home insurance?
When looking at short term unoccupied house insurance policies, make sure you understand what is and is not covered so you don’t get any unpleasant surprises if you need to file a claim. The following are some examples of common exclusions:
- Contractors should have their own insurance to cover any damage they do.
- Check all windows and doors are locked before leaving the premises if there is no trace of forced entry.
- When structural work is being done, there is a risk of damage.
- Water damage – this can cause a lot of problems, and some policies don’t cover it by default, so double-check your policy.
Your policy’s cover is likely to be limited to abrupt and unanticipated incidents, so if your home is infested with woodworm, for example, and damage is sustained over time, you won’t be able to file a claim.
This is true of all house insurance policies, not just those for short term properties, and the causes that are excluded include vermin, corrosion, rust, as well as insects.
Your policy may also include terms and conditions such as ensuring that someone visits the property at regular intervals.
What is the cost of unoccupied home insurance?
The policy of unoccupied home insurance is determined by a variety of factors, including the length of time you want your policy to last, the location of your property, and the value of your property.
Insurers may also consider why your property is unoccupied, what security measures you have in place, and how well your property is maintained, and they may give different levels of cover depending on your needs.
The process is normally conducted online or over the phone, but if you have a large property that requires a high amount of insurance, a risk survey may be scheduled.
Is it necessary to have additional security in an unoccupied property?
If your property is secure, you’ll have peace of mind while it’s unoccupied, and it may also help you save money on policy. Consider the following security measures:
- Notifying a trusted neighbor that the house would be unoccupied and requesting that they keep an eye on it
- windows and doors with high-quality locks
- putting in an alarm system
- CCTV or a smart doorbell or lock should be installed.
Before leaving a set of keys with a neighbor, check with your insurance company. If someone other than you or your family has free access to the home, some policies will not cover you for theft or other hazards, but exceptions may be granted for contractors, estate agents, and others.
What if I don’t tell my insurer that my house is unoccupied?
If you don’t notify your home insurance company that your property will be empty for longer than the allowed period, your insurance will most likely be voided, and you won’t be able to file a claim if something unforeseen happens.
How to get the best unoccupied home insurance policy
If you currently have house insurance, check with your current provider to see if it provides short term supplementary cover for empty homes, and if so, what it covers.
If you require specialized cover, it’s a good policy to shop about and compare policies from several firms to discover the best deal.
Don’t be tempted to get the lowest policy you can find; it might not be the best option for you. Instead, consider prices as well as details such as:
- The policy excess – the amount you’ll have to pay toward a claim.
- Any restrictions and conditions, such as when you’ll require someone to come to the property at what intervals
- Levels of cover – if needed, for both buildings and contents insurance
- The length of time for which cover is provided – you may wish to look around for policies that are more flexible.
If the property you’re insuring isn’t your primary home – for instance, if you’re a landlord or it’s a vacation home – you may need a specialty policy, as regular home insurance may not cover what you need. In that case, you’ll need a short term unoccupied house insurance policy.
Short Term House Insurance FAQs
Can I insure my house for two months?
If you only need short-term home insurance for a few months, you can get it. So, if your home will be unoccupied for the next two months, you can purchase a policy that will cover you for that time period.
Is unoccupied home insurance more expensive?
Unoccupied property insurance is typically more expensive than conventional home insurance. This is because insurers regard unoccupied properties to be a higher risk.