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Unoccupied House Insurance

Our unoccupied house insurance is suitable for all types of residential property - no matter how the house became unoccupied or the future intentions of the owner. 

For example: our unoccupied house insurance is available whether the property is unoccupied pending sale, renovations, to be let out our lived in. The policy is suitable for executors of an estate awaiting probate as well as putative landlords 'doing up' the property in preparation of letting out as well as 'investment properties'.

Quotes for unoccupied house insurance are available for properties anywhere in the UK - other than Northern Ireland. This includes houses in major cities like London, Birmingham, Glasgow or Newcastle and known problem areas like Bradford, Oldham. There is great flexibility, cheap insurance premiums and very wide cover.

Examples of the need for unoccupied house insurance

  • The owner has died and the executors require insurance on the property until Probate is obtained.
  • The house has just been purchased but the owner does not intend to move in for some time.
  • Our unoccupied house insurance seamlessly converts to landlords insurance (at exceptionally competitive premiums!) so is perfect if the house has been purchased by a landlord and is awaiting tenants. There is no need to cancel an existing policy and in many cases there will be a refund!
  • The house is unoccupied because it is undergoing or awaiting renovations. Insurance is available for both non-structural or structural renovations. The principal difference is that property being structurally renovated cannot have as wide a cover. It is not possible to obtain full accidental damage on property being renovated.
  • Unoccupied house insurance can be purchased by those with power of Attorney to protect the home if the owner may be unable to live there e.g. may be hospitalised or in a care or nursing home.
  • The owner may now be living abroad and wishing to dispose of the property.
  • The owner has moved house but is presently unable to dispose of the previous accommodation and doesn't intend letting it out.

Obtain a quick quote for cheap unoccupied house insurance.

Certain underwriting criteria apply to unoccupied property insurance and in some (not many) cases the risk may have to be referred to underwriters for consideration. Houses that have had subsidence or in a flood area will be considered - although no guarantee can be made that cover will be available. 

Unoccupied Property Insurance Quotes


Policy Wording


Sum Insured - Buildings Help
Sum Insured - Contents Help
Accidental Damage Cover

Status and cover required.
Construction of Buildings
No claims Bonus
Excess required
Social Media Discount? Help
Legal Expenses/ Rent Guarantee
Insurance Premium

Obtain insurance quote

Buy your Unoccupied house Insurance online

Cover Options

Unoccupied house insurance comes with TWO levels of cover - 'Limited' and 'Full'. 'Full' cover is not available, without referral, for properties undergoing structural renovation. Even the 'Limited' level of cover far exceeds that given by most unoccupied home insurance policies.

  • Fire, Smoke, Explosion, Lightning and Earthquake
  • Storm or Flood
  • Subsidence, heave or landslip
  • Impact involving an aircraft, aerial device or anything falling from them, train, vehicle or animal
  • Breakage or collapse of satellite dishes, receiving aerials and their fittings or masts
  • Falling trees, branches, telegraph poles or lamp posts, including the cost of removing any that cause damage to the home
  • Accidental damage to Underground Pipes and cables (1,000 limit to clear a blocked underground pipe)
  • Emergency access to home to attend an event (above) that would cause damage

'Full' insurance cover provides all the policy benefits of a home insurance policy, with the exception that cover for contents in the garden are (naturally) excluded. This may be available for property being structurally modified on referral. However there are some requirements.

  • The property must be fitted with 5-lever mortice deadlocks and window locks and these must be in use.
  • The property must have the central heating kept on at 13C or higher and/or water system drained.
  • The property must be inspected at least once a week by an adult (and record kept)

Policy excess

Unoccupied house insurance includes the following:-

  • A 1,000 excess for subsidence, heave or landslip
  • A 350.00 excess for escape of water (escape of water cover only applies if 'Full' cover option is taken) - much lower than other policies
  • A policy excess that may be selected of 75.00, 100.00 150.00, 200.00, 250.00, 500.00 or 1,000.00 (reducing the premium accordingly). if the excess exceeds 350 then the escape of water excess is increased correspondingly.

Insurance for when the house is no longer unoccupied

The unoccupied home insurance is fully compatible with either a landlord insurance or a home insurance policy.

With the former the insurance premium depends on the tenant residing in the property (standard, DSS, Students, Asylum seekers, holiday home - all can be covered), cover automatically reverts to 'FULL' once we are advised of the change, the escape of water excess reduces to 150.00 (unless the 250.00 option was taken) and accidental damage cover is available.

With the latter (as well as the change in excess), premium rates for both buildings and contents are substantially reduced (see here for a further unoccupied property insurance quotation with quotes for home insurance. Furthermore all risks cover may be added to protect valuables e.g. jewellery or electrical equipment (IPads, IPhones etc), pedal cycles, frozen food, sports equipment, money and credit cards. An enhanced no claims bonus of up to 25% and discounts for the over 50 result in very cheap home insurance.

There is therefore no need to cancel the policy mid-term due to a change of use. Call us and we'll sort it out.

The insurance may be cancelled at any time if, for example, the property has been sold. The return premium will be based on 30 days more cover, loss of commission on the resulting amount and a 20.00 fee (much lower than most insurers charge).

Difficulties obtaining unoccupied property insurance

  • Direct companies do not like offering insurance cover for unoccupied properties because they perceive the risk to be substantially greater. Unoccupied property insurance is best purchased through an insurance broker.
  • The property may be let in the future on a commercial basis - many house insurance companies do not wish to insure properties let out and so will not cover the unoccupied property - nevertheless it is worth contacting your current insurance provider to see if they will provide cover if your main property is with them.
  • There are greater risks attached to property that is empty than when someone lives there:
    • There is not usually someone in so if damage does occur then it may not be spotted for some time and additional damage may occur.
    • Unoccupied property is sometimes vandalised - bricks thrown through windows, burning rags pushed through the letter-box
    • squatters may move in.

Risk Management - reduce the risk of making a claim on your unoccupied house insurance policy

Companies providing cover will normally only do so if the insured is willing to help reduce the chance of a loss - this is known as risk-management. This is not, per se, a requirement for this insurance policy but well recommended.

  • Arranging a regular inspection of the empty property either directly or by a trusted agent.
  • Turning off the central heating or ensuring that it is on permanently to reduce the risk of burst pipes
  • Sealing off letter boxes and boarding up windows to reduce vandalism.

If you own (or intend to own) multiple properties

We can arrange insurance to cover houses already let. Once the total reaches five we can change over to a different rating structure that offers even cheaper premiums and lower administration fees. Vacant houses can be included under the scheme. Quotes are available for multi property online - or you may wish to contact us to confirm terms.

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B. Portwood & Co also offer cover on other types of property, professional let, DSS let, student lets, asylum seekers as well as unoccupied property insurance.

 B Portwood & Co are registered at 44 Medomsley Road, Consett, Co. Durham. DH8 5HA. Unoccupied property insurance is administered at 145 Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland. DL14 7EN
 Tel 01388607105 for any queries, advice, help or assistance.