Property Insurance UPDATE – Unoccupied properties – January 2021

Applicable until 15th February 2021 

We have recently received this update from our insurance brokers in relation to property insurance.

Buildings that are temporarily closed/no longer in regular use are exposed to different and usually greater risk than occupied premises and premises that are open for regular trading. 

Our standard policies define “unoccupied” premises and apply standard restrictions in cover and conditions precedent to cover that need to be complied with. Normally a higher premium is charged on unoccupied premises. 

To ensure customers were not unduly penalised for temporary closures solely due to the COVID-19 full lockdown restrictions the normal terms and conditions applicable to unoccupied premises were not applied to premises that were temporarily closed. These temporary dispensations ended on the 2nd December 2020. 

However, as the uncertainty caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, we understand that there will likely be an impact on your insurance needs. During this period of uncertainty, we will apply to all policies the following automatic enhancement: 

If your premises is unoccupied solely due to the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • and you carry out a recorded inspection of the whole of the premises at least once a month, or 
  • it can be occupied for at least one day in every 30 in line with normal working hours for that premises (such as admin/office functions are now operating, or there is a daily presence in preparing for normal operations to re-commence)whilst also following the latest Government guidelines, we will consider the premises as occupied and restrictive cover will not apply.  

Where your premises is unoccupied for any other reason, please note:

1) The start of any period of unoccupancy begins from the date the premises first became unoccupied (not from 3rd December 2020). 

2) If a premises qualifies as unoccupied on 3rd December 2020 the insured must comply with all policy terms and conditions for unoccupied premises immediately from 3rd December 2020 to maintain cover in line with the policy (unless otherwise agreed or varied by the insurers in writing). 

Any further questions on this please do contact or ring 01536 201339.