Insuring unoccupied residential properties and those undergoing renovations
By Mark Richards, Private Clients Director
Our Private Clients department has been responding to a growing demand from clients, both directly and from their professional advisors such as solicitors, to find insurance cover for non-standard risks. These include unoccupied properties for example those being sold as part of a deceased estate, and homes which have been bought by clients but require a renovations prior to being occupied.
In particular there has been a marked increase in demand for this type of cover from solicitors and wealth managers who are acting on behalf of clients, often from south of the Border or abroad, in purchasing high end Scottish property such as country houses or Edinburgh New Town properties, either to relocate to or as investments.
Good cover for these non-standard risks is not normally readily available in the mainstream market, and often it is not as wide or competitively priced as it would be if the property was normally occupied. Clearly there are additional exposures and risks for the owner and therefore the prospective insurer which makes this type of policy more specialist. But if there is a reasonable degree of risk management then additional cover for perils such as storm can be added.
Bruce Stevenson can also arrange cover for the owner where the renovation work is substantial, sometimes to a listed property, and a professional team is required to oversee the works. It is at this point that many insurers will lose their appetite to underwrite the risk. Therefore it is important for us to forge good relationships with several leading underwriters, including those at Lloyds, who can provide cover for the existing structure, the contract works, Joint Names insurance and the liabilities while the works are ongoing.
For more information or advice please contact Mark Richards on 0131 553 2293 or e-mail Mark.Richards@brucestevenson.co.uk