What’s worse than having a wonderful holiday spoiled by a catastrophe back home? Having your insurance claim rejected because your home was unoccupied. It’s a little known fact that if you leave your home unoccupied you might have additional excess… or void your home and contents insurance policy altogether. 

How long can your home be unoccupied for?

It depends on your insurer. It could be 90, 60, or even 30 days. 

And… some insurers even require additional restrictions if your home is unoccupied. Who would have thought that you’d have to keep your lawns mowed while you’re away to keep your insurance?!

How Long Does Your Home Need to Be Unoccupied For?

What you need to do will depend on your policy. Make sure you check… but here are 3 things that you can do to make sure you don’t have your claim refused:

1. Let your insurer know that your home will be unoccupied

If you let your insurer know that your home will be unoccupied your premium will go up for the time you’re away. Yes, the little extra you’ll pay is a pain in the hip pocket… but you’re also at higher risk. It’s totally worth it. 

2. Find out what your additional requirements are

Your insurer will impose additional inclusions and restrictions if your home is considered unoccupied. These vary, but can include things like stopping mail, newspaper, and other deliveries. It might be keeping your lawns mowed. It might even be getting someone to check your house every X number of days. Inside and outside. Find out. 

Find Out What Your Additional Requirements Are

3. Use a house sitter

The good news is that this shouldn’t impact your insurance because a house sitter is considered an invited guest. It pays to check your policy to make sure you’re covered for accidental breakage etc… and it’s recommended you advise your insurer of your plans.

Instead of Voiding Home Insurance Use a House Sitter

The whole point of insurance is to make sure that you’re covered when the unexpected happens. The risk of this happening increases while your away. It’d be terrible if you void your insurance because your home is unoccupied and you haven’t done the right thing by your insurer.

To make sure your home is well prepared, check out our 23 Point Checklist to Prepare for a House Sitter.