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Unoccupied home insurance

Here’s how to get unoccupied home insurance in Australia so you don’t void your policy.

Some home insurers consider a house "unoccupied" after 60 days. After this, you'll need to update your home insurance policy to unoccupied, or select this option during the application process.

It's important that you let your home insurer know that the home will be unoccupied, otherwise you risk losing your cover.

When is a home unoccupied?

Home insurers have different limits when it comes to how long it takes for a house to be unoccupied. We did some research and found that this limit can vary between 60 days up to 120 days.

BrandHow many days until the property is unoccupied
Budget Direct LogoProperty is unoccupied if vacant for more than 60 consecutive days.
Westpac home insuranceProperty is unoccupied if vacant for more than 60 consecutive days.
St. george logoProperty is unoccupied if vacant for more than 60 consecutive days.
Coles home insuranceProperty is unoccupied if vacant for more than 60 consecutive days.
Youi logoProperty is unoccupied if vacant for more than 60 consecutive days.
Virgin money logoProperty is unoccupied if vacant for more than 60 consecutive days.
Domain insureProperty is unoccupied if vacant for more than 99 consecutive days.
ANZ logoProperty is unoccupied if vacant for more than 120 consecutive days.

Looking for unoccupied home insurance? Compare here.

Now you can compare benefits to make sure you choose a policy that's right for you.

Name Product Finder Rating
Finder AwardBonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: The most popular insurer on Finder, Budget Direct prioritises low-cost cover and gives you up to 30% off your first year for new combined policies purchased online. This is a big reason it won this year’s Finder Award for value.
Youi Building and Contents Insurance
4.5/5★★★★★
Best Rated Brand
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Finder’s 2022 Insurer of the Year for Customer Satisfaction and our Top Pick for Fire Damage cover. It’s good if you want a tailored quote over the phone.
QBE Home & Contents Insurance
3.5/5★★★★★
Green CompanyBonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
3.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Finder's Top Pick for Floods plus cover for other common claims such as fire and theft). Its discount is better than most – 20% off your first year with a combined policy.
Honey Home & Contents Insurance
4.5/5★★★★★
Finder AwardBonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Honey gives you $250 smart sensors to reduce accidents and estimates your rebuild costs for you. Honey was a finalist for the comprehensive category in this year’s Finder Awards.
Bonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
3/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Get up to 20% off when you buy a combined home and contents policy. Terms, conditions, underwriting criteria and minimum premiums apply, which may reduce discount. Make sure your rebuild costs are accurate though – Australian Seniors don’t do underinsurance cover.
Kogan Home & Contents Insurance
3/5★★★★★
Bonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
3/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Good comprehensive cover (issued by QBE). Also, get 22% off on your first year's premium when you purchase a new combined Home & Contents insurance policy online + $10 monthly credit. T&Cs apply.
Qantas Home and Contents Insurance
4.5/5★★★★★
BonusFinder Award Finalist
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Home Insurance policy you take out by 7 February. T&Cs and exclusions apply.
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Check

Already have home insurance? Just let your insurer know that the house will be unoccupied. Make sure you do let them know, as if you leave the place unoccupied for over 60 days without telling them, you could void your policy.

What does unoccupied mean for home insurance?

If you leave your home for an extended period of time, it will be considered unoccupied by your home insurer. When a home is considered unoccupied, the insurer will generally do one of two things: impose an additional excess on any claims that arise while your home is unoccupied or cancel your policy. To prevent this, you need to contact them directly.

Generally, a home is not considered unoccupied if it's vacant for less than 30 days, but this differs from insurer to insurer, so it's worth looking into. If you exceed the time limit, your home will be considered unoccupied, and you may not be covered if you need to make a claim.

If you know that your house will be unoccupied for an extended period of time, make sure you let your insurer know so they can either update your existing policy or issue a new one.

How to keep an unoccupied house in Australia

You may be required to make sure your home is kept in a lived-in state by:

Padlock
Making sure all windows and doors are locked
Lawnmower
Keeping the lawns mowed
Mail
Stopping the mail, newspaper and other regular deliveries
Magnifying glass
Getting someone such as a friend, relative or neighbour to check on your house (inside and outside once a week)

These conditions vary between insurers and in accordance with your personal circumstances, but failing to abide by them could cause any claims during this period to be refused.

When will I need unoccupied home insurance?

Here are some common scenarios where you might leave your home unoccupied for long enough that it could affect your insurance.

  • Leaving your home empty while travelling. If you're planning an extended holiday, there's probably a high likelihood that you'll exceed your insurer's maximum unoccupied limit. For cover to continue, make sure you contact your insurer and notify them of your plans before you depart.
  • Leaving your home empty while you renovate. Living in your house while it's being renovated can be stressful and far from practical, so moving out for a few months while work is completed may be the best solution. Not only will your home insurance cover be cancelled if you're away for an extended period, but keep in mind that home insurance commonly won't cover claims that arise because of the renovations.
  • Leaving a house vacant while trying to sell it or rent it out. If you plan to leave the property vacant while you either look to sell it or try to find new tenants to rent it out, check with your insurer to find out how this will affect your policy. While many insurers will cover unoccupied homes for up to 60 or 90 days, there are some landlord insurance policies that require you to notify the insurer each time your home is left vacant due to a change of tenant.

Protecting your home while you're away

If you're away from home, it might be worth getting a house sitter or arrange for someone to check in regularly. Ask them to take a look inside at least once a week to make sure everything is alright, as well as take care of any tell-tale signs of a vacant home, such as uncollected mail or unmown lawn. Arrange for a friend or a professional garden service to stay on top of lawn and garden maintenance while you're away. Before you leave, thoroughly inspect how secure your home is. Check all locks on windows and doors, and consider installing a back-to-base burglar alarm for added security.

Start comparing home insurance

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More questions about unoccupied home insurance

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