Going away or leaving your property unattended? Read this first

Did you know that insurance companies consider a property to be at a higher risk when it’s unoccupied for extended periods of time? And if you haven’t notified them of the vacancy, you could have your home and contents or landlord insurance claim rejected or claim payments reduced?

Most landlord policies and personal home insurance will allow for short periods of vacancy however it is important to note that this does vary from insurer to insurer.

A house insurance policy will typically cover you for up to 60 or 90 days however one particular landlord’s policy on the market calls for notification every time there is a vacancy during a change in tenancy.

To avoid being caught out with an insurance claim that may not be covered – make sure you read the fine print and contact one of our experienced brokers to review your insurances, and ensure you are adequately covered should your property be occupied or unoccupied.

Common information we see insurers ask:

  1. The reason for the unoccupancy?
  2. What measures are being undertaken to reduce unoccupancy risks?
  3. Has any increased security been installed in the property?
  4. How often is the vacant home, body corporate building or property being checked and by whom?

Unoccupied properties are exposed to a range of risks, such as theft, vandalism, squatters and water damage.

To combat the occupancy problems we suggest you consider:

  1. Having a house-sitter, friend or family member occupy the premises while you are away. You then reduce the risk of an unoccupancy exposure.
  2. If you are not located locally to the property arrange for someone who is local to regularly check the property at least weekly removing all signs of unoccupancy e.g. junk mail, free paper etc. and regularly have yard and gardens maintained.
  3. Review and upgrade security, specifically door and window deadlocks and quality security screens on all doors and windows including the small bathroom and toilet windows.
  4. Fit back to base alarms supplying the name of a local contact.
  5. Turn off all water taps to all equipment e.g. washing machines, dishwasher, fridges etc.
  6. Tell your neighbours giving them your local contact details.

If a premises is unoccupied, it must be declared to your insurance broker so they can address accordingly. If you wish to review your current insurance policies or want to compare the market, please contact us on 07 3630 1823 or alternatively email Kimberley Lundberg kimberleyl@insuranceaid.com.au or Nikolle Pearce nikollep@insuranceaid.com.au

 

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