Fire damaged/unoccupied property insurance

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    Fire damaged/unoccupied property insurance

    We have two properties in an inner city area of Newcastle. The properties have remained unoccupied for over 5 years due to a number of reasons (once deamed a bad area, etc etc).

    We've paid for comprehensive buildings and contents insurance since 2003 and never made any claims, depite numerous broken windows, stolen copper etc. Over this period the properties have fallen into a state of disrepair (slates missing, over grown bushes...)

    We've recently been contacted by the police that one property has been set alight and there;s a serious amount of damage.

    The insurance company have stated that as the property has been unoccupied for more than 6 months we are not covered. Therefore they have refunded all premiums paid since 2003 - for both properties!

    While we come to terms with our current problem I'm keen to find out if I can get insurance for both properties from a specalist insurer (one fire damaged, and one unocciped)

    any ideas?

    #2
    1. Did you not notify your old insurer that the property was standing vacant?
    2. You must have submitted annual renewal forms. What did you disclose to the insurer?
    3. There are a few empty-property policies available. Try:
    a. JLT (0800- 316 9842 or propertyteam@jltgroup.com); or
    b. UPI, via Hiscox (01474-355322 or announcements@upischemes.co.uk).
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
      1. Did you not notify your old insurer that the property was standing vacant?

      No.

      2. You must have submitted annual renewal forms. What did you disclose to the insurer?

      TBH, we just paid the renewal amount each year.

      3. There are a few empty-property policies available. Try:
      a. JLT (0800- 316 9842 or propertyteam@jltgroup.com); or
      b. UPI, via Hiscox (01474-355322 or announcements@upischemes.co.uk).
      Thanks, we realise we may have invalidated the insurance policy for allowing the properties to have stood empty for so long, all we want to do now is to at the very least get the unoccupied (non fire damaged property) insured.

      Comment


        #4
        Unoccupied Insurance

        Hi Soled73

        You need the help of a broker rather than try and do this yourself, not least the markets available to you won't usually deal with the public direct.

        Try www.biba.org.uk/ConsumerHome.aspx to find one local to you.

        The broker could try Camberford Law 0208 315 5000 and Ocaso 07917 433074 both of whom advertise that they can do unoccupied property.

        You will need to tell any new insurer that your previous insurer voided their policy and explain why a mistake was made. They obviously also need details of the fire and the reason for unoccupancy.

        The insurers will need to know what inspection and security you have at each of the properties. They will also ask what your future plans are for the properties.

        The fire damaged property you may only get limited cover - indemnity cover (what it's currently worth) and even then just debris removal costs rather than reinstatement of the building.

        Don't forget to include Property Owners Liability.

        Good luck.

        Comment


          #5
          Unoccupied property insurance in itself is pretty simply to arrange. We have a couple of policies that cover properties that have been or will be unoccupied for any given length of time. These policies can then have anything from the most basic of cover known as FLEE cover in the industry (Fire, Lightning, Earthquake, Explosion) right up to full cover that you would get on an occupied property (but obviously this is pretty expensive).

          Most people go for the basic cover although in theory the only cover worth having here is the Fire aspect (which should include Arson) but some want a bit extra and get a policy that includes Malicious Damage cover.

          The bottom line is, if you speak to a company that covers unoccupied properties you should be able to cover specifically what you want as the policies as quite customisable.

          I think your main problem with insuring the undamaged property is what 'paulb67' said in his last post with regards to declaring that you have had a previous claim refused and consequent voiding of 7 years worth of insurance. The fire damaged property will have these same problems as well as the fact it is currently not in a good state or repair. I doubt you will obtain anything better than an indemnity only policy and any (further) fire damage is likely to be excluded.

          Certainly don't bother with online quotes as you will just waste your time getting "No Quotes". Ring brokers that deal with unoccupied properties and tell them this information before you get into the nitty gritty of the quote and hopefully someone can help.

          Good luck...
          Steve Smith - Company Director at a leading Landlord Insurance broker with 18+ years experience in the industry
          LandlordZONE Verified Poster and Topic Expert for Landlords Insurance since 2009
          See my profile for contact details

          Comment


            #6
            We used Insurance Choice (google it) who placed the cover with Prestige.

            This was for the buildings whilst empty before refurbishment, etc. £200k sum insured for £208. But it did have some exclusions whilst empty but I can't remember what they were and can't find the paperwork for that. We had some pretty outrageous quotes before finding this one. One was over £1000 iirc.

            Also they acknowledged the building works starting and endorsed the policy at no extra cost which I found amazing in this day and age of money grubbing insurers (Insurers = Gamblers who don't honour their bets imho)!

            We had to make sure the chosen builder carried his own liability insurance whilst works were in hand.

            Unfortunately when the works were complete they were unable to be competitive for 3 holiday lets so this is now placed via Intasure who were very helpful and keen to get the business. We ended up with 1 separate policy per flat but all at the same address.

            Comment

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