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Protecting vacant commercial property

The British high street is in crisis with recent headlines announcing the demise of Maplins and Toys R Us with the closure of many more stores expected to follow in 2018.1 With the continued decline in physical retail, many commercial buildings lie empty across the country.  

vacant property

Property owners have a legal responsibility to keep empty premises safe and may have to comply with a number of insurer requirements to maintain the validity of their insurance.  

Standard property insurance policies may restrict the cover provided if a property is left unoccupied for more than an agreed specified period, often 30 consecutive days. It’s vital that clients let you know if their property will be left empty for longer than this so new terms can be arranged with the insurer. 

The biggest risks to vacant properties

If not maintained, unoccupied property can quickly fall into disrepair, drawing attention to the fact it is has fallen into disuse. The property may then be targeted for arson, theft, and vandalism, squatting and the ever-more popular phenomenon known as urban exploring. Lack of maintenance can also increase the risk of common issues, such as water damage.

To help you when talking to clients about the risks associated with empty property, we have created this useful infographic detailing key actions they can take.


vacant properties infographic

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Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg No 1718196. Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg No 24869. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg No 243111. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg No 2046087. Ecclesiastical Underwriting Management Ltd (EUML) Reg No 2368571. E.I.O. Trustees Ltd Reg No 941199. EdenTree Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg No 2519319. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. EIO and ELL are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 113848 (EIO) and 110318 (ELL). EFAS and EIM are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 126123 (EFAS) and 527473 (EIM). EUML is an appointed representative of EIO who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 402228.