How this third national lockdown may affect your property insurance – and what you need to do now

As we hunker down for a third national lockdown, it may be necessary for you or your tenants to vacate your premises entirely or change how it is occupied.

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This could have implications for your insurance as most property insurance policies only provide between 30 and 60 days' continuous unoccupied property coverage. 

Third-lockdown uncertainty

During the first national lockdown, most insurers granted extensions for 60 to 90 days. However, the majority have since ended these special arrangements. 

Now, as we contend with a third – and very sudden – national lockdown in England, what remains in doubt is whether insurers will offer similar extensions to unoccupied-property cover if property owners or their tenants have to vacate their premises for a prolonged period.

What you must tell us now

If you arrange your insurance via us and your property or any of your regular business premises are unoccupied, then you must inform your Clear account executive as soon as possible. Likewise, you must also let us know if you or your tenants have substantively changed the pattern of occupancy that you disclosed previously.

Examples of these changes include:

  • Part occupancy or complete vacancy of the premises during the working week
  • Changes to the opening times of business premises
  • Weekend occupancy (if not disclosed already)
  • The subletting of any premises to a third party
  • In the case of multi-tenure properties, details of any vacant units or properties.

Have you changed your business activities?

You must also inform us if you or your tenants have changed or diversified your business activities so that we can inform your insurer. This also applies to any business activities that you may have ceased.

What happens next

Once you've contacted us, we will notify your insurer of any changes to your property's occupancy so that you can remain fully compliant with your policy's rules of disclosure and so that changes to your cover can be made where possible.

Remember, we're here to assist you, however we can. So, please don't hesitate to speak to Clear, if you have any questions about your property insurance.

In the meantime, and in light of yet another national lockdown, we will keep you informed of any market-wide issues that may affect your insurance, as soon as that information is made available.

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