Home Insurance

Everything To Know About Unoccupied Home Insurance

Protect your property while you’re away

  • By Paddy Compare
  • 07 July 2023

There are times when your property is empty for an extended period. This could be due to various circumstances like switching between tenants, travel, or even renovations. During times like this, your property falls under the unoccupied category - as long as it has been empty for over 30 days.

When a house is left unoccupied, the chances of theft or damages substantially increase. Hence, it is critical to ensure the protection of this property while you're away.

There are 5 types of home insurance:

  1. Home contents insurance
  2. Building insurance
  3. Buildings and contents insurance
  4. Holiday home insurance
  5. Unoccupied home insurance

Paddy Compare connects you with reliable unoccupied insurance brokers who will offer you a policy plan which is well-suited to your requirements.

In this article

What is unoccupied home insurance?

Unoccupied home insurance is a home insurance policy that covers a property left vacant for extended periods, more than your standard policy would allow. Usually, this time period is somewhere between 30-60 days depending on your chosen policy.

In the case of unoccupied property, it is important to know that it must not be used as a holiday home, to be classified as unoccupied.

Unoccupied home insurance policies usually offer various policies with different timelines, including three, six, nine, or 12 months, unlike home insurance policies which are usually annual.

Who needs unoccupied home insurance?

You may need unoccupied home insurance if:

  • You've put your house up for sale and have already moved out, leaving the property uninhabited.
  • The owner passed away and you've inherited the house.
  • You're a landlord looking for suitable tenants.
  • The building is being renovated and isn't safe to live in.
  • You are emigrating or traveling for an extended time.
  • You have been admitted to a hospital or rehabilitation center for long-term medical care.

Home insurance is a necessity for homeowners, renters, landlords and anyone who values protection and security. Therefore, gaining a clear understanding of who needs home insurance is crucial to make informed decisions.

What is included and excluded in unoccupied home insurance?

What Is Included What Is Excluded
Natural disasters: Damage caused by storms, floods, or earthquakes.

Theft due to carelessness: The insurance policy is rendered null and void if squatters and criminals enter your house without breaking in, through unlocked doors or windows.

Accidental fires: Damage caused by accidental fire while you're away. Renovation: Damage that happens during major construction such as renovation or extension that is not covered in the policy.

Vandalism or theft: Any criminal damage that may occur or if someone breaks into your house and steals your belongings.

Contractor work: Damages caused by contractors working on your house. (To avoid such a situation, make sure contractors have their insurance)
Legal expenses: Any legal expenses required to remove squatters or trespassers, settlement costs for public liability in case someone gets injured on the unoccupied property, and holds the owner accountable.

Gradual damage: Damage caused by gradual deterioration due to a lack of maintenance or typical wear and tear.

Factors influencing the cost of unoccupied home insurance

Several variables determine the cost of an insurance policy for unoccupied homes:

  • Location: Properties in high-risk locations that are more prone to earthquakes or floods and have higher crime-rate usually carry a more expensive cover rate.
  • Value: The higher the value of the property and belongings such as furniture or personal assets, the higher the cover charge.
  • Level of cover: The cost varies depending upon the level of coverage, add-on policies or more expansive coverage are more expensive. You can consider a liability-only policy if that better fits your need to save money.

As you learn about unoccupied home insurance, it's crucial to understand the key factors that affect your home insurance policy in general.

Tips to save money when buying unoccupied home insurance

Unoccupied home insurance policies are usually exorbitant compared to other home insurance policies, as the risks are substantially increased due to the property being abandoned.

There are several strategies you can devise to reduce the cost of your unoccupied home insurance policy which focus on decreasing possible damage. These include:

  • Security measures: Adding extra security measures such as burglar alarms, security cameras or smoke detectors can make it easier for you to get insurance at a lower price as the risk of break-ins or fires is reduced.
  • Property maintenance: Maintain your property, ensure regular inspection, and address any issue as soon as possible to avoid claims of neglect or gradual deterioration.
  • Attending to pipes and heating: Take care of the heating system to stop the pipes from bursting in cold weather. Always ensure utilities are switched off and the water system is drained.

In addition to this, consider checking out a few tips to get cheaper home insurance in Ireland to attain the best price for your coverage.

Planning on buying unoccupied home insurance?

With Paddy Compare, you can get in touch with expert local brokers and get the best unoccupied home insurance policy based on your needs. Simply follow these steps:


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