As the Government lockdown continues, and the winter temperature starts to bite, we would like to remind you of your obligations in respect of insurance on your properties. Unoccupied/not in daily use/empty property, presents a significant increase in risk to all insurers. Your insurance policy will define when a property becomes unoccupied (for example after 30 days of last being actively used) and will set out the exact terms that apply to you. Normally such a situation arises due to sale, purchase or a gap between tenants.
However, we are now faced with the situation where certain properties are left unoccupied/not in daily use/empty, due to Government imposed lockdowns. This too has implications in terms of your insurance.
We have outlined 2 scenarios below, to provide some guidance for you:
Your property was already unoccupied/not in daily use/empty, prior to the UK Lockdown. In this scenario, you should already have informed us of the situation and we will have advised you of the implications in terms of your own insurance. Those terms will remain in place during the lockdown. If you are unsure,please do check with your current insurance provider.
Your property was in daily use and it still would be, but for the Government imposed lockdown (for example, properties such as Shops/Offices/Cafes/Restaurants/Pubs). You may be ready and primed to re-open, but at this time no one is at the premises. In this scenario most insurers are currently adapting their position, to assist policy holders, but also in managing the increased risk. Examples of the sort of precautions you should take if your own property is affected in this way are set out below. We stress this is only a guideline from a single insurer. We suggest you contact your current insurance provider if your property is affected in this way, to enable them to provide advice specific to your particular circumstances.
Where a property left unoccupied/not in daily use/empty exclusively due to government mandated lockdown:
• The premises should be inspected internally at least once every 7 days, by or on behalf of the policy holder. A record of the dates of these inspection and who conducted them should be made.
• All trade refuse and waste materials are removed from the interior of the premises, with no accumulation of refuse or waste being allowed in the adjoining yards or spaces owned by the Insured.
• Accumulation of mail near any letter box should be removed at each visit.
• The premises should be secure at all times, by putting all fastenings and protections, including locking devices and any alarm protection, into full and effective operation
• The gas, water and electricity supplies, should be turned off at the mains (except electricity needed to maintain any fire or intruder alarm systems, or water and heating systems for sprinklered premises)
We are reminding you of this as failure to comply with any Unoccupied Condition can lead to insurers avoiding claims due to breach of policy Condition.
Please contact your insurance broker for advice with your own particular circumstances if you are concerned.
If you are looking to renew your building insurance please call us on 01372 744379 or to contact us CLICK HERE.
Grayside Insurance Brokers.