Is my unoccupied property still covered?
If your property is empty, vacant, or unoccupied you don’t need to disclose this. However, some conditions which apply. Unless we have agreed otherwise, our standard conditions below will apply.
If your rental property is untenanted for a period of more than 60 consecutive days, cover remains the same but a $5,000 excess applies to any claim.
If the loss is from a break-in and the home is fitted with an active, professionally-installed alarm or security system, then a $1,000 excess applies. Fitting your house with security systems is encouraged.
Cover remains unchanged for the first 60 consecutive days that your property is vacant. After 60 days cover remains the same, but the higher excess applies.
That’s approx. two months, and once someone lives in the property the clock resets. When the house is occupied again the policy automatically resets and your normal selected excess applies.
Owner Occupied House
Cover remains unchanged for the first 60 days when it’s unoccupied.
If it’s unoccupied for more than 60 consecutive days, we will only pay for loss that is:
- Caused by fire, explosion, or lightning, or
- Loss caused by a natural disaster.
After 60 consecutive unoccupied days, you still have cover for natural disasters like an earthquake, but theft or vandalism is not covered.
If you contact us beforehand and explain your situation we may agree to continue cover on our standard terms. It may be that you are going overseas for three months and you have arranged for your neighbour to check the mail and house regularly. If you are away from your own home for more than 60 days; and are worried about the changes to your policy, please get in contact.
You can leave your holiday home or bach empty for more than 60 consecutive days and the cover/excess will remain standard, so long as you meet the following criteria:
- The home is inspected inside and outside by you or a nominated person at least every 60 days.
- The home and its grounds are adequately maintained.
- Any mail is cleared regularly (although holiday homes don’t usually have mail boxes)
- The water supply is turned off.
- All doors are locked and all windows are secured.
If the house is unoccupied for more than 60 consecutive days and you do not meet the above requirements, cover remains the same but an additional excess applies:
- An excess of $5,000 applies to each incident, or
- If loss results from a break-in or attempted break-in at the home while it is fitted with an active, professionally-installed alarm or security system, then an excess of $1,000 applies.
We are more lenient on holiday homes when it comes to un-occupancy, as we know that these are properties that are used intermittently.
This guide is intended to be a quick reference to vacant homes. Please refer to the relevant policy wordings located on the product pages for full details of the policy coverage.