The lights are on, is anyone there? Unoccupied commercial property during lockdown

In his first article for our newsletter, Eddie Ryan, Senior Account Handler, writes on what insurers are doing about unoccupied properties during the lockdown.

When the lockdown was first announced, people were quick to react and get their businesses in order. Whether that meant shutting them down temporarily, mothballing production lines or even setting up home working a whole host of measures were put into place.

As the weeks have gone on, buildings have been left silent or have had sporadic inspection by business owners. Be it a commercial or residential property, insurers often expect regular and recorded inspections of property while its unoccupied. Terms from many insurers include:

  • Regular inspections that are either weekly bi-weekly or monthly
  • Inspections to start from either 30 days or 60 days since unoccupancy
  • A record of the inspection, included either in a daily diary or picture proof that you visited the site.
  • Often reduced cover for the building during such time, unless you notify your broker of security measures in place or frequency of inspections that go above and beyond the policy expectation.
  • Water systems be drained, even where Storm, Flood & Escape of Water are not insured perils.
  • Where heating is left on for it be set at an agreed temperature.
  • For all of the above an additional premium may be charged.

It’s best to get in touch with us when a property becomes unoccupied. Quickly we can access insurer terms and let you know what you need to do. If a property is going to be long term unoccupied, we can try and place with an un-occupancy niche provider.