Useful Advice for Owners of Unoccupied Properties

Weather Related Advice

  • If the water cannot be turned off at the mains, the heating should operate continuously at a low temperature. This will help avoid burst pipes.
  • Lag pipes wherever possible to avoid any freezing.
  • Fencing should be secure and any remaining garden furniture stored away.
  • Any signs of weather damage (such as missing roof tiles, etc) should be rectified, replaced or repaired as soon as possible.
  • Switch the electricity supply off at the mains where feasible (and if not required to power security protections) to avoid further damage in the event of a flood.
  • Trees should be maintained where possible to avoid them falling in strong winds.
  • Try to avoid unnecessarily storing items on the ground floor, as in the event of any flooding, this will keep them from being damaged.
  • Check guttering regularly and keep as clear as possible to avoid blockages.
  • Ensure the property and all of its openings are weather proof and water tight.
  • If you have a flat roof, ensure that it is inspected and maintained in line with any conditions on your insurance policy.

Other Useful Tips

  • Ensure you carry out the required visits to your property as stipulated by your insurance policy and keep a dated log of such visits. This is essential to help you spot and rectify any issues as quickly as possible.
  • Gardens should be maintained and cleared of leaves on a regular basis to ensure there is not any unnecessary build up and to avoid drawing attention to your property.
  • Seal letterboxes and catflaps from the inside to ensure nothing uninvited can enter through them.
  • If any valuable items have to be left in the premises, they should be kept out of sight, however many insurance policies will stipulate that the property is cleared of such items.
  • Visit the property at different times of the day and/or night.
  • Consider controlling lights to automatically come on at varying times.
  • Ensure the property is adequately secured, with required locks and protections as stipulated by your insurance policy.
  • Contents should be kept to a minimum and preferably cleared out.

Many Unoccupied Property Insurance policies will stipulate which of these are required to be carried out by applying conditions or warranties, confirming the consequences of not adhering to them. Check your own policy to see which are required to maintain proper insurance coverage, but we recommend doing all of the above where possible for your own peace of mind.