Is your unoccupied property safe and secure?
One of the most visible signs of the recession is the number of unoccupied premises, both on the high street and in our neighbourhoods.
The likelihood of damage or injury arising from empty buildings is high, even if they are only vacant temporarily, such as prior to their sale or refurbishment, and it is the responsibility of the property owner or lease holder to make sure the building is secure and properly insured.
Common problems include theft of contents, fixtures and fittings, vandalism, fire, fly tipping and occupation by squatters. Empty buildings are also at increased risk of water damage due to inadequate maintenance and repairs.
Owners have a legal ‘duty of care’ to third parties entering empty premises, whether they are employees, estate agents, surveyors, buyers and even trespassers, and it’s vital that you tell your broker immediately if a building you own or occupy is vacant, even if temporarily. This could result in higher premiums, but the consequences of not being properly insured and an incident of this nature occurring can be serious.
For more advice on insurance for unoccupied properties, call Apollo.