Knowledge Centre

Protect your home when you are away with Unoccupied Home Insurance

It takes years of financial planning to buy an independent house or an apartment. In fact, one of the common dreams most Indians share is that of owning a space of their own where they can live with their family. And after possession, begins the process of decorating the home with beautiful and carefully curated items. Unfortunately, the structure of the house and its contents can get damaged due to a natural or man-made disaster. Especially, when you aren’t around to take care of them. In such situations, home insurance policy for unoccupied homes can take care of your fears.

1. What isunoccupied home insurance?

Normally, when we have to be away from home for days and weeks due to work or holidays, our house remains unoccupied. During this time, it is also vulnerable to flooding, fire, burglary, etc.

Similarly, when you are looking to sell your old house, it stays vacant. This can be a constant cause of concern when you have no trustworthy friends or neighbours to regularly check on your home. To keep tension at bay, you can buy home insurance for unoccupied homes. It covers your home when it remains empty for a longer period than your standard home insurance policy allows. In your general home insurancepolicy, you get cover if your home is empty for up to a certain number of days (see policy terms and conditions), and if anything happens beyond this period, the insurer is not liable to pay for the damages.

2. How much does unoccupied home insurance cost?

Unoccupied home insurance can be purchased as an add-on policy to your existing home insurance or as a separate plan. The premiums for an unoccupied property are generally higher than standard home insurance policy because of the higher risk associated with the former. When your home stays empty for an extended period, the chances of theft go up significantly.

Also, it carries a higher risk of structural damage with no one to handle repairs. The cost of such damage has to be paid by the insurer and so, they charge a hefty premium to reduce their risk factor. However, if you are going to be away for a certain number of weeks or months, you can discuss this with your insurance company and check if they are willing to charge the premium on a pro-rata basis.

The premium also depends upon property value, the level of maintenance, and the size of coverage you are seeking. The higher the level of cover you want, the more you will have to pay in premiums. Installing security measures, such as an alarm system, could help you earn a discount.

3. Claiming on unoccupied home insurance

Contact your insurer immediately when you learn about any damage to your house or its content. Any delay in informing them can end up in being your rejection of your insurance claim. Also, check that the damage was not done due to your negligence and if the policy tenure still exists. For example, if your policy covers you for a year and you have been away longer than that and forgot to renew the policy, then you can't make a claim. On being intimated, insurance agents will investigate the authenticity of the damage report, estimate the loss, and you will get reimbursed after all other verifications.  

4. What does unoccupied home insurance cover?

  • Different insurance companies would offer you different plans. But, generally, an unoccupied home insurance policy will provide coverage against any damage done due to natural disasters like cyclones, floods, fire, etc.

  • It will bear the cost for any repair work required due to any electrical fault or because of leakage of water or oil in case a pipe bursts.   

  • If a thief breaks into your home and steals your belongings, the policy will compensate you for that.

  • You may not get any compensation if the damage was done because of the negligence of the policyholder i.e. if you left your doors or windows unlocked, you basically invited trouble. Similarly, if you have hired contractors to work on your property in your absence, you will not be covered as any damage can well be caused by the workers.

Conclusion

The insurance for an unoccupied home does not merely safeguard and insure your house from possible destruction, it will also provide you with peace of mind while you are away.Buy home insurance for unoccupied homes to take care of any eventuality in your absence.

Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.


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