29th September 2020

Risks of your property being empty…

By Aston Lark
Risks of your property being empty…

If your property is unoccupied, then it is less of a risk, right? Wrong!  If your property is unoccupied, it carries a higher risk than a property that is fully occupied.

An unoccupied property is more likely to be a target of malicious damage, burglary, squatters and trespassers.

Therefore, the risk of insuring an occupied property are high and not all insurers feel comfortable taking that on... There are four major risks that come with a property being unoccupied:

  1. Fire
  2. Escape of Water
  3. Vandalism/burglary
  4. Squatters

If your unoccupied property is subject to a fire, this could result in a total loss. Fires can be caused by many different factors such as arson, faulty electrics and heating systems, especially space and electric heaters that can ignite nearby household items. According to Home Office* estimates, there are 60 fires in the UK which occur in unoccupied or derelict properties a day.

Damage by escape of water can go unnoticed for a long period of time if the property is vacant. This can cause serious damage and dampness which can result in a large loss. Escape of water can be as a result of burst pipes which would need to be seen to immediately in order to mitigate the loss. Burst pipes are more likely to occur during the winter months as they can be prone to freezing.

If your property is unoccupied but still fully furnished, do ensure you protect your home sufficiently. Thieves are more likely to target homes that appear unoccupied. Please therefore refer to our Unoccupied Property Checklist where you will be able to see what security measures should be in place to secure your home against theft.

The number of squatters throughout the UK is ever-increasing and you should do your best to protect your home from them.  Many squatters cause damage to the property they live in. You can reduce the risk of squatters entering your property by doing some of the following:

  • Consider extra security measures such as installing an intruder alarm and CCTV cameras
  • Make sure all doors and windows are shut and locked
  • Ensure the property is regularly inspected at least once per week

As you can see, unoccupied properties do pose a higher risk than occupied properties. It is therefore very important that you have the correct cover in place so that in the event of a claim you are fully protected. Please contact us on 020 8557 2420 should you wish to discuss your unoccupied property requirements in more detail.

Find out more here

* https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#non-dwelling-fires-attended