Unoccupied Property during the Third National Lockdown

News Unoccupied Property during the Third National Lockdown

The third national lockdown is now here, and the use of their premises has changed for many. This may mean your business or your tenants have vacated the premises entirely or there is a change to the pattern of occupancy. In the past the premises may have been occupied daily, whereas now they are only occupied on a limited number of days each week. If you own a second home then you may not be visiting as frequently.

This could have implications for your insurance as most property insurance policies only provide cover where the premises are unoccupied for no more than a period of 30 days. Beyond this cover may be reduced or even withdrawn. These conditions apply to both Building and Contents insurance.

Third-lockdown uncertainty

During the first national lockdown, most insurers granted extensions to the 30-day limit often without the need to refer the situation to them. However, most insurers have since ended these special arrangements.

Given the sudden national lockdown there is some uncertainty as to what stance insurers will take now if properties are vacated or unused or are only partially used.

The one known fact is that insurers must be advised where the occupancy has changed.

What you must tell us now

If we arrange Property Insurance (Buildings and/or Contents) for you either as a property owner, home owner or as a business, please contact us if the level of occupancy as changed.

Examples of these changes include:

Part occupancy or complete vacancy of the premises during the working week
Changes to the opening times of business premises
Weekend occupancy (if not disclosed already)
The subletting of any premises to a third party
Holiday or Second homes which cannot be visited
In the case of multi-tenure properties, details of any vacant units or properties.
Have you changed your business activities?

You must also inform us if you or your tenants have changed or if you have diversified your business activities so that we can inform your insurer. This also applies to any business activities that you may have ceased.

What Happens Next

Once you have contacted us, we will start the process of notifying your insurer of any changes to your property’s occupancy. This will mean you are meeting your obligation of disclosure of information that your insurers need to know about. We will be able to discuss and outline what the new arrangements may have on your insurance cover.

We are here to help and look forward to hearing from you.