My premises are now unoccupied as we have followed Government advise to close the business or my tenants have moved out – what should I do
Every insurers has a different definition of ‘unoccupied’ but in general you need to let us know if the buildings are likely to be unoccupied for a period of 30 days or more.
Please speak to us about how your insurer is applying unoccupancy clauses, as each insurer has a different stance.
If your building is no longer occupied this represents a greater risk of damage, which could delay your organisation getting back up and running, once the current COVID-19 outbreak has passed.
With this in mind we would advise, where you are able to do so safely and within the current government guidelines, you try to ensure that:
- The buildings are inspected internally and externally by an authorised person once a week to check the security and general condition of the premises.
- All waste, refuse and other disused combustible materials is cleared from the buildings and any grounds adjacent to it.
- All external doors are securely locked and all opening windows closed and locked (where fitted with locking devices).
- All tanks and pipes are drained down where and when you are able to do this, and all taps, stopcocks and mains supply valves turned off. If this is not possible, because you need to maintain a central heating system, a minimum temperature of 7°C should be maintained.
- Gas supplies should be switched off unless to maintain a central heating system.
- b) Electricity supplies should be switched off unless to maintain a central heating system or existing intruder alarm systems, fire protection systems, CCTV, security lighting or sprinkler systems.
- All existing physical devices for securing, or preventing access to the buildings must be kept in full and effective operation at all times. All keys must be removed from the locks and kept in a secure place away from the premises.
We recognise that you may not be able to complete all of the items listed above, either partially or in their entirety, but we would encourage you to consider anything you can do, to reduce the risk of damage, loss or theft.
Herewith some additional advice from our Health & Safety partners, Lighthouse: