Do I need to let my Insurance Company know I’ve let my property?
The simple answer is that whatever you do with your property, the correct procedure is always to let your insurance company know and get their consent to do it. If, for whatever reason, they refuse to insure you then need to shop around (directly or through a broker) to get the property insured.
Failure to get the property properly insured, will normally result in any claim being refused and the policy being nullified on the grounds of failing to disclose material facts that would affect the policy. In the worse circumstances there is a possible risk of being sued by the Insurance company for fraud!
The key to disclosure is a “material fact” that would have a bearing on the policy and most likely increasing the risk factor for the insurer. Often the insurer will agree to a property being let, normally at a higher rated premium, and stipulate certain conditions on the use. If part way through a policy lifetime, any changes to the original policy agreement must be disclosed to prevent a future claim being waived.
The same will apply to a vacant property; insurers will want the property visited regularly (normally once a fortnight) to make sure everything is in order. An empty property for any length of time will normally require the mains services being turned off and the mains water being turned off at the stopcock with the system being drained down.
It is important to make sure that the stopcock is turned off as any leak will continue todraw water up from the mains unless that route is stopped.
If in doubt ask your local expert and always check with the insurance company as they will have the ultimate say on any claim.
When checking your property insurance do make sure you are covered for public liability and malicious damage from the tenant; these are often omitted from the policy but are key to protecting both you and your property!