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Unoccupied Insurance Compliance

Vacant property insurance - Why should your empty property be insurance compliant?

Significant evidence exists to confirm that the likelihood of damage to, or injury from an empty property is very high even if the property is only temporarily vacant, such as it would be prior to sale or refurbishment.

In the UK alone there are around 9000 fires each year in empty buildings. In addition, property is damaged, contents or fixtures are stolen and the properties or land are victim to vandalism, fly tipping and illegal occupation by squatters or travellers.

Water damage is a further concern particularly where maintenance and repairs are inadequate.

Property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of third parties entering the premises, whether they are employees, estate agents, surveyors, buyers, tradespeople or trespassers, and even children who decide to use the property as a playground.

According to the likes of Axa and Aviva, both of whom provide specialist insurance for unoccupied properties, when assessing the risk to your particular property (or properties) you will need to consider the following:


  • What is crime like in the area?
  • Who is the site likely to attract? e.g. youths, vagrants or squatters
  • Is the site secluded or isolated?
  • What is in place to deter access or entry? e.g. lights, fencing, nearby occupancy


  • Make someone responsible for each premises
  • Ensure each premises is routinely inspected
  • Remove graffiti and posters
  • Record and control the issue of keys
  • Ensure all utility services (gas, water, electricity) are turned off and/or drained-down
  • Keep the site looking like its being cared-for and maintained
  • Correct type and value of Unoccupied Premises insurance is in place

Health & Safety and Public Liability

(risk of injury to third parties)

  • Broken, weak or loose walls
  • Rubbish, glass or piles of rubble
  • Protruding nails and jagged edges
  • Risk of falling objects from roofs or other overhead structures
  • How easy is it to access the roof/s?
  • Are the roofs made of light sheeting through which people could fall?
  • Will visitors need torches?
  • Should visitors enter alone?
  • Are there missing or damaged stairs, rails, and floors?
  • Is there any live exposed or damaged electrical wiring or fittings?
  • Will guards or other authorised users need access to basic welfare facilities such as water, toilets, lighting and heating?


  • Ensure perimeter fences/gates are in good order
  • All doors, windows and any other accessible openings (roof hatches, skylights) are protected and secured
  • Replace all locks and account for all keys (insurance requirement)
  • An approved intruder alarm is installed, working and maintained
  • A mobile security guarding service is in place
  • All rubbish and other combustible items, both internally and externally are removed
  • Any new rubbish dumped/fly-tipped is regularly removed
  • The property’s letterbox is fixed in the closed position
  • Existing sprinkler systems should be operational and correctly working
  • Existing fire alarm should be in full working order
Unoccupied Insurance Compliance

Regular property inspections provide advanced warning of any vulnerabilities before significant issues arise. A full report will assist the property owner in complying with relevant insurance requirements.

We provide a comprehensive, professional and regular Property Inspection service designed specifically to help ensure your property is, and remains, insurance compliant.

Talk to us now to find out how we can help you ensure your vacant property is insurance compliant before arranging insurance.

Call us on 0141 611 7812

or enquire below:

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