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COVID-19: Unoccupied Commercial Property Conditions

Due to Government advice and restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 lockdown, the continued closure of many businesses throughout the UK and indeed around the world has seen a large number of unoccupied businesses and commercial buildings. Unoccupied buildings, closed temporarily or permanently, can be at greater risk from theft, escape of water, arson or vandalism.

If your business premises remain closed, it is important that you adhere to the unoccupancy conditions of your policy. You should refer to your policy wording for the exact requirements defined by your insurer. As the majority of policies advise, if you do not comply with these conditions you will not be covered. 

In general, insurers will be looking for the building to be appropriately inspected and secured as follows:

  • the premises must be inspected internally and externally at least once per week
  • secure the premises ensuring doors, windows and gates are locked
  • ensure intruder alarms are activated
  • gas and electricity must be turned off at the mains (other than any electricity supply supporting any intruder or fire alarm)
  • turn off the water supply at the mains
  • all refuse and waste materials must be removed from the premises
  • ensure all fire alarms and sprinkler systems remain fully operational
  • ensure that internal fire doors are closed
  • ensure all non-essential electrical devices are turned off

It is advisable to keep a written record of this activity.

If your insurance policy has unoccupied/security conditions and the property was unoccupied prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, then the usual conditions required by your insurer remain the same as before.

This is an extremely difficult time for businesses and PK Partnership want to provide you with as much help as possible during this time of temporary change to working practices to ensure you comply with the conditions of your policy.

If you have any questions relating to your insurance arranged through PK Partnership or if there has been any change to your business activity that may affect cover please contact your account executive on 020 8681 4994.

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