Many people are now working overseas – and this is in a huge selection of industries from the more obvious such as leisure and travel, construction and engineering through to nannies, designers and teachers.
If you are working abroad – or even away from home in the UK, you will need specialist insurance designed for properties left empty for extended periods of time. The fact that your home will be unoccupied for longer periods is a material fact that MUST be disclosed to your household insurance provider, and many insurers will not continue to provide cover for your property because of the longer periods the property is empty. At the best you can expect severe restrictions in cover to apply.
For example, theft and malicious damage cover is often excluded after 7, 30 or 60 days – as is escape of water (such as burst pipes). If you have not informed your insurer that you are working away from home and are leaving the property empty on a regular basis, your insurer may invalidate your policy completely. This means that in the event of a major disaster at your property, you could have the nightmare of a letter arriving from your insurer declining the claim and returning your premium, stating that they have declared your policy void because of undisclosed material facts.
You need to take professional advice if you need insurance cover for an empty property. One call to Westhill Insurance will provide you with all the guidance you need to be able to keep your property safe whilst you are working away from home. As an independent insurance company, we will shop around to find the best possible cover at the best possible price, so that being able to afford insurance will not be something you need to worry about.
It is of course important that you take precautions to protect your home whilst you are overseas. This controls your exposure to risk and means your insurance company can continue to provide you with comprehensive insurance for your home whilst it is empty, with the confidence that you have done everything you can to safeguard your property. The insurers will impose certain requirements which must be met, and we will talk these through with you when we discuss your insurance. In general, these common-sense rules apply:
1. Advise your insurers!
2. Remove as many valuable items as possible
3. Ensure the property is secure with goods locks, a security system (and even consider sealing the letter box if you are away for a long period of time)
4. Heating – drain down the system during warmer months but leave some heating on to avoid pipes freezing etc in winter
5. Make the property look occupied – perhaps ask a neighbour to park their car on your driveway, to move curtains regularly, turn on lights etc
6. Inspect the property regularly – keep written records of each inspection by an authorised adult who will do this on a regular basis: this is invaluable should a claim occur
7. Switch off unused services – any services not being used to heat or secure the premises should be turned off as this minimises risk to the building
It is an exciting and often life-changing event to have the opportunity to work overseas and the last thing you need to be worrying about is your property at home. So pick up the phone and call us at Westhill Insurance Services – we'll love to hear all about your plans and will certainly be able to make sure you have covered all your insurance needs, before you fly-off!
Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.