View Full Version : UK property insurance

30-01-06, 12:18
We intend to spend some months out of the uk every year & have noticed that our buildings insurance is invalid if the property is left unoccupied for more than 60 days. Insurers approached seem to take a one size fits all view but no doubt someone in this forum has solved the problem - if so please advise.

Hopeful thanks,

John G

30-01-06, 15:10
Saga Home Assurance allows greater periods away for an additional premium and some added restrictions. The latter mainly concern the tpes of locks on doors and windows and either leaving the heating on or draining the system down if you are away during the winter months.

We have now changed to Rias who offer much the same but for less premium. You can contact them on 0800 552 100.

30-01-06, 17:32
As a matter of interest Medman I am just going through this myself. As always, when things are examined I find I can get a better deal than the one I have by shopping around of course and no two insurance companies are quite the same.

An interesting suggestion has just come from one company to solve the problem, which was to ensure my house as a UK holiday home. This means I can live in it when I like and leave it empty for longer periods when I am elsewhere. The only drawback is that accident cover, i.e. foot through floorboards or the like would not be covered but everything else, water, fire damage, et al would be. I am a little confused by this as it sounds like the premium is higher than the cheapest normal owner/occupier policy but not as much as I am paying now.... Have you or anyone else examined this type of policy before? I am currently awaiting a full quote and details but it sounds too good to be true.
Also, my situation being that I have a daughter calling in regularly while I am away, I asked if I would still be covered if she stayed in the property one day every month. To my surprise they said that they would be quite happy with that on condition that she actually slept here overnight. How they would prove she didn't if she claimed she had I am not sure, so I'm not quite sure which way to jump at the moment....

31-01-06, 08:09
Not the cheapest, but they do allow long-periods of non-occupation, providing certain conditions are met.

Their settlement system is considerably superior to Rias - who will be highly competitive on your first premium, but not on subsequent ones.

31-01-06, 09:48
Tried Ria by telephone. Very unhelpful, didn't understand question and reverted to the 60 day occupancy clause.
Looked on Liverpool Victoria website and theirs is 60 days too.
Ria and others said having my daughter sleeping in the property for a period each month would not satisfy their requirements (probably a jobsworth reaction from the telesales person)
Tesco insurance, which I currently have are better but more expensive. I deliberately phoned three times and got the same answer from 3 different very helpful people. While the rule is 30 days, not 60, a named relative occupying the house for even one day in every month satisfies their requirement. I have therefore named two of my children, who live locally, on the policy. They will be calling in regularly to water plants and relay post anyway so I might stop there unless the holiday home thing works better. Caution however. "Occupying" means to Tesco, sleeping there at least one night every thirty days. Other insurance companies define it differently.

31-01-06, 14:56
Tried Ria by telephone. Very unhelpful, didn't understand question and reverted to the 60 day occupancy clause.

[/ QUOTE ] That is the real pain with call centres. It all depends upon who you get. Rias will allow longer periods but they insist on the property being inspected (not lived in) inside and out at least once a week. I double-checked yesterday.

There is a further consideration with Holiday Home Insurance. Double check, but I suspect it cannot be extended to include personal possessions away from the home. That means the only way to cover such things as clothing, jewelry, glasses, photographic equipment and that lap-top you lug about in order to keep up contact with the YBW Forums is to add them to your boat's insurance. That will cover them against theft from the boat, sinking, stranding, etc etc and from theft whilst stored ashore when the boat is laid up, but will leave them with no cover at all against accidental damage or from theft whilst in transit.

01-02-06, 08:44
Yes indeed, call centres.....ughhhh!
Think I will probably stay as I am for the time being at least. Daughter will indeed be looking in at least once a week.
Without saying more the chap at Tesco's home insurance said. "Put it this way. If you make a claim we will ask you when the property was last occupied.... What will you say?" Having named both my children on the policy now one of them will have been occupying the house during the last 30 days won't they?
Its another case of not stepping on the doggie poo just cos its there innit? /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

02-02-06, 17:39

Thank you for your assistance. Rias emphatically denied that cover for more than 60 days was available [personally I trust those who admit they don't know] and Saga, with whom we are currently insured, are willing to extend the cover subject to certain conditions & payment.

May many claim free years await all of you.

John G

08-02-06, 10:28
Wife used to work for Natwest insurance and they definitely cover longer periods away subject to conditions like drained heating. They are much more receptive if a neighbour will check round once a week - which is what I would want anyway. No extra premium, but you will need to get past the call centre girls to someone who knows what they are talking about. And they might be more reluuctant if you live somewhere like Liverpool.