Unoccupied Properties

There are still difficult times for many businesses at present, which may result in empty premises. Below is a recent update from NIG Insurance in respect of this:

‘When the first lockdown was announced we extended our unoccupancy terms to allow all policies a full 90 days provision, followed by a further extension of 45 days. Equally, at the start of the second lockdown we were clear there was no need for contact where clients could, and were, adhering to unoccupancy conditions. As we head into lockdown 3.0 many clients have adapted or altered their trading methods, with some that have unfortunately closed their doors and others that have not been able to make provisions to reopen despite being permitted to do so.

Our aim remains to support our mutual clients through these extremely tough periods, and it is really important that we understand any changes in trading from adaptations to closure, alongside any risk management measures that are in place. It is, therefore, no longer appropriate to provide further blanket extensions to unoccupancy terms as each circumstance is now different. Our standard unoccupancy periods vary from immediate notification in the case of most Combined products, to 90 days which is standard in many Property Owners products.

Please refer to the individual policy terms and conditions and contact us before the end of the permitted unoccupied period so we may understand:

• The reasons for unoccupancy. Is this solely due to lockdown?
• How long have the premises been unoccupied for and how long is it likely to remain unoccupied?
• Have there been any incidents whilst unoccupied? For example, either damage to the property or unauthorised occupation?
• Will the premises be secured by putting all protective locking devices and any alarm protection into effective operation?
• Will gas, water and electricity supplies be switched off at the mains (except electricity needed to maintain any fire or intruder alarm systems, or water and heating systems for fire sprinkler systems)?
• Will the Insured or their representative be visiting the premises every seven days and immediately carrying out any work necessary to maintain the security of the premises?
Will the Insured or their representative remove all post, trade refuse and waste materials from the interior of the premises, allowing no accumulation of refuse or waste in the adjoining yards or spaces owned by the Insured? ‘

If you are unsure about any of this, please contact your local office to discuss a specific case.