Is my unoccupied property still covered?
If your property is left empty, vacant or unoccupied you don’t need to tell us but there are some things to be aware of.
Unless we’ve agreed with you otherwise, the below standard conditions will apply to your cover.
Cover stays unchanged if your rental property is not being lived in for up to 60 consecutive days. If it’s empty for over 60 days the cover remains the same but a $5,000 standard excess will apply to all claims.
We encourage fitting security systems to your property. If you make a claim for a break in and have a professionally installed alarm then the unoccupied excess reduces to $1,000.
Cover for your house also remains unchanged for the first 60 days that it’s unoccupied.
If it’s empty for more than 60 consecutive days your policy is reduced to cover:
- Fire, explosion or lightning damage.
- Damage from natural disasters (i.e. earthquakes, tornadoes etc).
After 60 consecutive unoccupied days, you still have cover for the big risks but theft or vandalism won’t be protected. This is because empty houses are sitting ducks for theft and vandalism. We encourage you not to leave your home empty for over two months wherever you can.
If you plan to leave your house empty for over two months you can contact us beforehand and explain your situation. We may agree to continue cover on the standard terms of for example you have arranged for someone to regularly check in on your house while you’re away.
We expect holiday houses will be empty more often, so our conditions are more lenient. Holiday homes can be empty for more than 60 consecutive days and your cover will remain standard, as long as you can meet the following:
- House is inspected inside and outside by you or a nominated person at least every 60 days
- The house and its grounds are adequately maintained
- Mail is cleared regularly
- Water supply is turned off
- Doors are locked and windows are secured
If you can’t meet these then a standard $5,000 excess will apply to your policy. If it’s fitted with a professional alarm this reduces to $1,000 when you claim for a break in or burglary.
This guide is intended to be a quick reference to vacant houses. We recommend reading the full policy wording for the full details of the coverage.