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Unoccupied house insurance - any good?

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by And247, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. And247

    And247 Registered User

    Aug 21, 2014
    17
    Northumberland
    Hi

    I am the CoP Deputy for my dad who is in a CH. His house is empty and I am in the process of applying to the CoP to sell etc, etc etc.

    I live a long way away and no one else is around to regularly enter the house and check it etc. Water is turned off etc. etc It is also in a quiet part of the country in a rural area. (Dad has never had insurance)

    My question is about unoccupied house insurance. (I estimate about 1 year before house sold).

    Looking on google there are a number of specialist suppliers. However reading the policy wordings it would appear that there seem to be a large number of exclusions in the event of damage and theft etc.I question the real value - some appear to only effectively cover fire... (and exclude damage from theft / vandalism etc).

    1) Does anyone have any experience of the real value of this type or insurance? (anyone actually claimed for loss?)

    2) As a CoP deputy is there a 'responsibility' to have the house insured (even though the real benefit appears 'limited') to avoid potential issues of mismanagement of the persons financial affairs if there was a theft / vandalism issue?

    Thanks!!
    Andrew
     
  2. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    1,252
    I've insured a number of empty properties over the years and in my experience it's best to contact two or three brokers, give them an honest appraisal of the situation, let them find what they find, then choose the most appropriate option.

    You're right in saying that some policies seem hardly worth it and in some cases I have chosen to not insure my own property. However you're also right in saying that a Deputyship carries certain responsibilities so not insuring wouldn't be something I would ever contemplate as a Deputy.

    If you have evidence of choosing the best policy (under the circumstances) then you've fulfilled your obligation and, realistically, there's not a great deal more you can do.
     
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford
    I think as you have deputyship you should keep the house insured as it might look irresponsible or negligent if you didn't and anything happened. As Delphine says shop around and tell them the truth and you will almost certainly need to use a specialist insurer. I kept my mother's house insured, the first year with her previous insurer who allowed this for 1 year only then with a specialist insurer. I would expect if you use a reputable company you shouldn't have a problem if you read and stick to all the small print. Realistically if it's rural then it's probably not so much of an issue, however, I would look at getting an alarm fitted if there isn't one already possibly a monitored one with a key holder, businesses use them routinely and it's not that expensive.
    K
     
  4. Wirralson

    Wirralson Account Closed

    May 30, 2012
    661
    As you note, there is a vide variety of levels of cover. As Deputy you are obliged to act prudently, and the existence of the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 alone would effectively oblige you to do so. You might be better consulting a specialist Insurance Broker and discussing your situation with them, as they would be better placed to assess your needs and offer advice. Do remember, though, to ask what commission they receive and check alternative prices against the level of cover the recomment. It need not be particularly expensive.

    W
     
  5. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    108
    You definitely need to insure the property as unoccuppied. I act as Controller for my mum, through the Court, and it was a requirement to properly insure property etc owned by my mum. It cost a few hundred pounds through Towergate for a year, payable from my mums funds. If the house burnt down and was not insured and therefore possibly £000's lost, how would the Court view it?! There are usually requiremnts for certain locks to be fitted to entrance doors, for the property to be visited regularly etc, but it is worth it given the possible alternative.
     
  6. And247

    And247 Registered User

    Aug 21, 2014
    17
    Northumberland
    Many thanks Delphie, Kevinl, Wirralson and Realist1234 for the sound advice.

    Going through various policies and exceptions etc. has been quite tedious but certainly points out some big differences between different policy providers.

    The 'Occupiers' Liability Act 1957' point is also a very pertinent one and with most suppliers doing different scales of insurance and what is covered and what is not you certainly need to careful, (Far more than normal occupied policies!).

    A suitable policy is now in place!

    Thanks again.
    Andrew
     

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