A blog from FOS looks at the increase it has seen in queries from insurers about “escape of water” claims in unoccupied properties. FOS notes that key points to check are:
- how the policy describes “unoccupied” – as there is significant variation;
- when the loss happened – and whether it started before the property became unoccupied, even if it was discovered afterwards;
- whether the property was left unoccupied due to unexpected or exceptional circumstances and, if it was, whether it would be reasonable in the circumstances for the insurer to apply the exclusion;
- what the insurer would have done had it known the property was unoccupied – if the insurer would have applied different terms had it known, FOS is likely to say the claim should be considered in light of those terms; and
- whether the consumer’s breach was actually material to the loss.