UNOCCUPIED HOME & CONTENTS INSURANCE

Submitted: Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 12:56
ThreadID: 109918 Views:1806 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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Can anyone from our fellow travelling community give us some advice (based on your own experience) on what is considered acceptable by insurers to ensure insurance coverage continues on our furnished/unoccpied property beyond the very limiting 60 day period please? We have travelled for extended periods before but have been fortunate enough to have our daughter's family available to live in our home but this is no longer an option as they now own their own home. I'm going to put the question to our insurer as well and I've done some research on the 'net but would appreciate your feedback from 'those in the know' so we're comfortable with whatever decision we need to make thank you?
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 13:41

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 13:41
Hi Jayna

It is possible for your daughter or any other relative to come a stay for a weekend once a month? We have been similar to you and have a daughter who lives here full time when we are away so have not needed to find a way around insurance.

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 13:57

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 13:57
Relevant extracts from our policy with Elders Insurance. We have 100 days. It appears that one night occupancy is enough to restart to counter.

Definition:
‘Occupied’
Your home is furnished such that it is comfortably habitable and you, your family or someone with your consent has resided in your home overnight.
To be occupied the home must:
a. contain at least one usable bed/mattress;
b. contain at least one dining table or bench, a chair and some other furniture;
c. contain a functioning refrigerator;
d. be connected to the electricity supply; and
e. be connected to hot and cold running water.


Unoccupancy
If your home is unoccupied for more than 100 consecutive days, you must tell us and obtain our written agreement for cover to continue. If you do not do so, the cover for home and contents is limited to lightning, thunderbolt, riot and civil commotion, damage directly caused by impact by a motor vehicle, waterborne craft, space debris, aircraft, rocket, satellite, a branch, or tsunami and earthquake for the period in excess of 100 consecutive days during which your home has been left unoccupied. However, we do not insure you against any subsequent resultant damage such as rainwater entering any opening made by impact or looting subsequent to a riot.
The period of 100 consecutive days is calculated from the date when your home was last occupied regardless of the commencement or renewal date of your Policy.

Changes
You must tell us as soon as possible if -
Your home or your farm is left vacant or unoccupied for a period exceeding 100 days


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Reply By: TomH - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 15:08

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 15:08
Why not try to negotiate something with the company.

We live in a retirement village and had a "Village " policy which allowed us to stay away for 9 months of a year and it only cost $5 a month extra when we were away, reducible when we came home.

We have since changed companies.
Recently we were overseas for 66 days but only had 60 days unoccupied insurance.

Had people checking house frequently so wasnt a problem.

Most companies require a "Family member" to occupy the house for a night or two at the end of the 60 days to stay insured. How they check on that I dont know.
AnswerID: 540805

Reply By: Sue P5 - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 16:04

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 16:04
We have over the years had many occasions where we have locked and left our home complete with all of its contents. We have informed our insurance company and agreed to pay a higher excess should something unthinkable happen. The excess went up to $500 so wasn't over the top in our opinion, upon return we notified them again and everything went back to normal. We have in more recent times fitted a monitored alarm for extra piece of mind.
AnswerID: 540809

Reply By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 17:48

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 17:48
Jayna Hi,
I regularly leave my home for more than the 60days allowed. I notify the insurance co. giving them assurances of lawn mowing letter box clearances etc. which they are quite happy with. The obvious being that there is not a sign of being away. I have a responsibility to minimise the risk to the Insurance Co.

Mike.
AnswerID: 540816

Reply By: baznpud (tassie) - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 19:14

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 19:14
Most Insurance Companies now-a-days give you at least 90 days unoccupied, if this isn't long enough approach your Insurance Company for an extended period, some will extend for an extra premium, if they don't you're with the wrong Company.
Cheers
baz
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Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 20:57

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 20:57
Like Michael we notify our insurance company that we will be away. We organise lawn mowing, letterbox clearing etc and have a reliable person visit about twice a month to open up and check that all is OK. We have good neighbours who put out bins and generally keep an eye out. Our insurance company charges us a small extra fee and high level coverage is maintained with no problems for several months. I think it is important to notify your company and make arrangements that they agree to. We have never had any problems. Lynne
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 21:20

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 21:20
Hi Jayna,
I think a lot depends on individual circumstances, including where your home is and how visible it might be to caring neighbours. A few years ago we left our home locked up while we travelled. We live out of town a bit and our home is not easily seen by neighbours. Our son came each weekend to check that all was well. Unfortunately some lowlife found a way to watch the house and broke in during the week and did a pretty thorough job of cleaning us out. By this stage we had been away for close to the time limit on our policy but the insurer did cover us (though we had to really slug it out with them to finalise the claim but thats another story).

Our problem was that despite taking all the normal precautions about mail, garbage, newspapers, regular checks etc we were still burgled. Now we always use housesitters and have found that a very satisfactory way to go and good insurance. We certainly dont want a repeat of the break-in.

There was a good outcome in that the police did manage to identify the culprit, although he had a track record of pulling the same stunt on quite a few other homeowners, so I suppose after a year or two in gaol he will be back to his customary habits.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
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