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Important information to know when working with unoccupied properties


With further lockdown restrictions in place you probably have an increase in your home clients with unoccupied properties and unfortunately with government guidelines regularly being assessed which could mean some properties are unoccupied for a long period of time.

During lockdown 1.0 we shared some FAQs with you and would like to provide you with a little reminder on some of the more common queries your clients may have. Additionally, if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact our Underwriting team.

What happens if a customer cannot comply with the inspection condition on an Unoccupied Property?

Government guidelines vary across countries and we are mindful some homeowners may not be able to visit their properties as often or easily as they once would have. We also understand certain demographics may be more heavily impacted than others in terms of their ability to travel or get about.

During the current climate we would like to highlight we will not penalise homeowners if they are unable to carry out inspections due to government restrictions. However, we would recommend if your property is going to be unoccupied for a long period or the foreseeable to think about turning off the water. This will try to minimise the risk of escape of water (EOW). Learn more here.

What if a client is now working from home temporarily?

If this for clerical use, we do not need to be notified as there would be no action required. However, homeowners should be mindful in the event of a claim we would only be covering them for equipment they are responsible for insuring.

What if a customer is away and unable to return home meaning that their property will be empty for longer than they told us/longer than the standard Unoccupancy permissible under the wording?

Please refer to question 1 as the same answer applies.

What if a customer’s employment status has changed but they have not been able to inform us?

Sadly, together we may experience some cases where a homeowner has unfortunately lost their job during the current climate. Should a claim arise, and we discover we have not been notified of change of employment status we will not treat this any differently and will allow grace during these times. 

What if a customer is unable to comply with a deadline for an inspection to be carried out or something fitted?

We fully appreciate that it will not be possible for people to have non-essential work carried out for. For example, an alarm installed, or chimney swept. Under the current circumstance we will not alter terms or restrict cover for anyone affected. Rather we will recognise such factors which can be creating a backlog in such work.

We appreciate this list above is not exhaustive, and there may be other scenarios arise. Should you or your clients have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

As a business we will be following the FCA guidance and working to adjust to temporary measures to compile within government guidelines and advise.

We also recognise they are regularly being reviewed and new Government advice may arise as the Coronavirus situation continues.