Vacant Property Insurance VS Property Guardians.
Danny Schindler 01 June 2018 at 14:41
There are over 12,000 empty commercial properties in the London Borough of Barnet alone.
If your property is going to be left empty for any period of time, it’s important you have the correct insurance in place. As a property owner, you will most likely already have buildings and contents insurance in place, but your existing policy is very unlikely to provide cover if your building becomes unoccupied. However, vacant property insurance can cost quite a bit, maybe a property guardian would be a better solution for your commercial property?
Whats does Vacant Property Insurance cover?
No one likes to focus on the ‘ifs or buts’, but sometimes it is necessary to ensure you don’t find yourself in financial trouble. Empty property insurance typically covers a large array of risks including storms, flood damage, fire and theft, but as each insurance policy differs, you must make sure you read the small print.
Vacant property insurance also usually covers your liability as the property owner. So for example, if in the unlikely event one of your roof tiles blows off and smashes the neighbouring buildings window - you are covered.
What is a Property Guardian?
Property guardianship is an arrangement by which people are given cheaper accommodation in exchange for keeping a property under observation and in good status. It is mostly used by commercial properties but they can manage everything from care homes to schools and churches. This allows property owners to save huge amounts of money on business rates, security and maintenance.
How Does it all Work?
If something were to happen to your property while it was unoccupied, would you be able to pay out, or would this lead to money troubles?
Your current insurance provider may be able to provide cover for your vacant property, but only up until 60 days - max. Therefore it is better to search elsewhere for a specialist content and buildings insurance provider, who can provide cover for an unspecified length of time. However in cases of vandalism or theft, contracts are no longer legally binding if the owner forgot to activate burglar alarms.
Unoccupied property insurance can take a much larger chunk out of the bank than your original policy. To solve this issue many property owners are turning to unoccupied property guardians to live in their commercial properties. This not only saves on insurance premiums, it saves the costs of boarding up and up to 100% of the cost of traditional security, not to mention they often hand your property back in better shape than when you handed it over to them.