Is your unoccupied property covered during COVID-19?

April 7, 2020

As protection measures ramp up as a result of COVID-19, many premises, construction sites and schools have had to temporarily close.

In an effort to protect their property/assets, it is vital that organisations seek advice in order to check their policies and ensure their property has the correct cover during this uncertain time.

In general, insurers will exclude any loss or damage to properties when the premises becomes unoccupied and remains so for a period (depending on provider and policy) of time. Most property policies (Business Pack and Industrial Special Risk) will include an exclusion which states that if the property is unoccupied for 90 days or more then cover will cease for most claims. Please note that this may vary depending on the insurer i.e. 30 or 60 days.

It is important to check with your broker, as this date can be extended.

The application for any extension will take into account the following key considerations:

  • Location of the property – remote or central;
  • What security measures are in place;
  • An estimation of the expected time it will be unoccupied for; and
  • What maintenance will be undertaken during this period?

This condition applies to unoccupancy of buildings or premises owned by you as well as unoccupied homes. In regard to strata premises; some exclusions may apply such as automatically enforced higher excess while some insurers will require a percentage of units to be occupied at all times

It is imperative to contact your account manager to ensure your property is adequately covered while it remains unoccupied.

Gow-Gates specialises in this type of risk placement, so if you believe that this issue is relevant to your business, please feel free to contact Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers on (02) 8267 9999 to discuss your circumstances or to obtain a quotation.

Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers advises that persons should not act on the material contained in this article as the items are of a general nature only and may be misinterpreted. We therefore recommend that advice be sought before acting in these areas.

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