All about leaving a home unoccupied and what to do

There are many reasons as to why people could be leaving a home unoccupied. For example the occupants could be away on a cruise or a holiday to a second home.

Additionally it could be that it is a rented house and there is a long period between tenants. This is especially the case for homes that are rented to students who are typically away for months during the summer.

Another reason could be that the house has recently gone into probate. This often leaves lots of valuables in a house unprotected so unoccupied home insurance is vital to be put in place as soon as possible.

The final reason for leaving a home unoccupied could be that it is under renovation. If a house is undergoing serious works, then it is more than likely that the family may move out of the property for that duration.

But would you know what to do when your home is empty?

Insurance class homes as unoccupied if they are left empty for over a certain amount of days. Usually this is 30 days or more but can change depending on the insurer.

If your home is unoccupied for a length of time it is important to get the right unoccupied home insurance in place. This is because your home is deemed a higher risk to fire, squatters or vandalism when it is empty.

What we recommend when leaving a home unoccupied

There are many things you can to do ensure your home is that little bit safer when unoccupied.

Remove all valuables

If possible it is advised that you remove all the valuables from your house. Obviously this is not an option for everyone. If this is the case then you are able to insure those valuables were anything to happen.

Maintain your heating at a low temperature

By keeping your house at a constant temperature it helps to make sure that your pipes will not freeze. This is especially essential in the winter period.

If you plan to leave the heating off completely, then it is recommended that you drain all the water from your pipes and radiators etc. But always check with your insurer what they require.

Get someone to check in

When you are away from a home for a long period it is recommended to get your house looked in on once in awhile. This can be done by either yourself or a family member.

How often you check the property will again depend on the insurer. Some insist on every week, some settle for once every two weeks or once a month.

Check what you’re sharing

This is  a suggestion for the travelers. We all get excited about going on holiday, but always check what you’re posting on your social media. This applies even if you are leaving the house for just a week. Your holiday status could turn into a potential opportunity for a burglar.

If your home is going to be unoccupied for a long period of time you need to make sure that your insurer is aware, otherwise it could make your insurance invalid.