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First Time Buyer home insurance during renovation


We are first time buyers and we believe we are getting close to exchange. Fingers crossed, it should be done soon after the holidays. We understand we need to have home insurance ready in time for exchange so we started getting some quotes.

We'd like to do some renovation to the house we are buying before we move in, such as replacing windows, painting, replacing carpets and converting the integral garage. We anticipate that such works will take a couple of months. During the works we intent to stay at our current rental, so our house will be empty until the works are completed.

Most insurers (for example direct line, aviva, axa) have refused providing insurance because we anticipate that the house will be unoccupied for more than 60 days(during the works). They advised that we get "non-standard" insurance. We've only managed to get a handful of quotes by some rather obscure (to us) insurers, such as homeprotect, acorn, tokio, intelligent insurance.

Our questions are:

  • I guess it's quite common for first time buyers to do some work before moving in, is it genuinely so difficult to get home insurance or are we doing something wrong?
  • Do you have any recommendation for insurers that would offer cover for vacant properties?


  • It’s probably less common than you think - I’ve done 3 renovations so far and have moved into all 3 prior to starting the work. 

    If you move in, even just for a night a week, you can just phone the insurance company and tell them you’re renovating and a a general idea of what you’re going to do.

    Normally doesn’t cost anything.
    2006 LBM £28,000+ in debt.
    2021 mortgage and debt free, working part time and living the dream
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,348
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 28 December 2023 at 8:30PM
    I wouldn't have thought it common for FTBs to have the luxury of renting somewhere else for a lengthy period while they do work, no - I'd have thought it much more common for them to move in and have the work done around them.

    What's the problem, if you've had several quotes for insurance which would cover you?
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 21,181
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Solution is for one of you ( or both) to sleep there one night a week and presumably you will be there most days for an hour or two at least.
  • I insured mine with Swinton and it wasn't particularly expensive for empty property insurance. Then I just switched it with them when I moved in and got a refund of any overpayment. 
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