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Holiday Home Insurance

Why Use Quotesearcher

  • Only deal with UK leading insurers
  • No need to shop around to find the best deal
  • One stop solution for all your insurance needs

Holiday homes or second homes are a wonderful thing to own. They allow you to take a break whenever you feel like it, are something to let friends or family use, or even as a way to make a second income through renting. As most holiday homes are usually left unused for prolonged periods of time, standard house insurance will not cover it. Instead, you will need to get a specific holiday home insurance policy.

Cover is available for the UK and many popular holiday destinations abroad for holiday homes, apartments, flats, chalets, caravans and cottages.

Why Do I Need Holiday Home Insurance?

When a building is unoccupied for months at a time it is more at risk of damage, vandalism and theft. For example, if a water pipe bursts and the house has been left unchecked over winter, it will cause considerable damage to your property. Or if the property is damaged due to severe weather conditions, the longer it is left unnoticed the worse the effect will be.

Renting out your holiday home also comes with its own pitfalls. Tenants typically do not take as much care when in a rental property as the owners would, with the contents being particularly at risk of damage.

In an ideal world, you will have comprehensive buildings and contents insurance. This offers you the most protection, however it can also be quite costly. That is why we have broken down the features of both in some detail below, so you can make sure your policy only contains things you really need otherwise you are paying a higher premium for nothing.

Buildings Insurance

This is essential, and covers the structure of your property including the roof, and any permanent fixtures and fittings including baths and fitted kitchens. Second homes which are still under mortgage must have appropriate levels of building insurance, which your mortgage provider will insist upon. Rebuilding a house is never cheap, and even if you do own it outright this is still an important piece of insurance to consider.

Your buildings insurance policy should be enough to cover an entire rebuild of your home, including any other buildings on your land such as swimming pools or garages. Remember, the cost of a rebuild is not the same as the market value, so it is wise to get a surveyor round to give you an estimate which you can then take to your potential insurance provider. Newer mortgages should already include an estimated rebuilding cost.

Some policies have an option for ‘unlimited cover’ if it proves too time consuming to generate a realistic estimate, however this is likely to be more expensive as it offers such broad cover. Check whether your policy keeps the rebuild costs in line with inflation, otherwise you could end up finding yourself underinsured. If they don’t then make sure that the figure is regularly checked and updated so you don’t end up having to foot the excess on the repair bill yourself.

Contents Insurance

Although it is not compulsory, we would strongly advise taking out a contents insurance policy. Even if you do not think your holiday home contains many valuables, the cost of actually replacing the contents might surprise you. Once you take into account the furniture, crockery, furnishings and garden, the cost will start to increase dramatically.

Whether or not you let your property out, it is a good idea to do an inventory of the contents. Where possible, avoid leaving high value items in your holiday home when it is left unused or if you let it to tenants. Sometimes insurers will place a limit on the value of any single item and may even exclude certain valuable items from the policy, particularly when it is being let.

Key Policy Features

Below is a list of some of the main things to consider when searching for your holiday home insurance policy:

  • Emergency travel expenses – if you have to make an unexpected journey to your holiday home to deal with something insurance related, your insurer will cover the cost of the journey.
  • Emergency accommodation – your insurer will provide you with emergency accommodation or cover the cost of a hotel if your holiday home becomes damaged to the point where it is uninhabitable. This extends to guests if your home is let out.
  • Accidental damage cover – for the contents of your home while it is being let
  • Public liability – this prevents you being held personally liable should someone have an accident whilst staying at or visiting your property. It also covers any damage caused to a third party, e.g. if there is a severe storm and your property causes damage to your neighbour’s property.
  • Legal expenses – in the case of a claim being made against you in court, legal fees can easily run into the thousands. We would thoroughly recommend this if you own a rental property.
  • Flood risk insurance – if your home is in an area prone to flooding your insurer will insist on this, and some insurers may be unwilling to offer you insurance at all. It may add to the cost of your premium, but it is a small price to pay compared with repairing all the damage caused by a flood!
  • Repair cover – any repairs which are made as the result of a claim will be guaranteed by your insurer, typically for up to 12 months
  • Damage through theft – especially relevant if your property is left unoccupied for long periods of time.
  • Storm/weather damage – holiday homes are normally empty in the winter months, which is just when the weather starts to turn. Damage caused by weather could easily go unnoticed for weeks or even months, which will only add to the cost of the repair.

Holiday Home Tips

Your holiday home could be an hour’s drive away, or it could be on the Portuguese coast; the further your home is the less often you are likely to visit, which can easily mean the house being unoccupied for several months at a time. We have a few tips below to help keep your holiday home in good shape, and deter unwanted visitors!

  • Check roof regularly – roofing problems can spell disaster for a building. Repair costs are high and the building may be left uninhabitable while the work is being done. Before the end of the season have your roof checked so it is ready for winter. If it is a bad winter, we would also recommend having it inspected before you start visiting or letting it out again.
  • Insulate pipes – a lot of heat is lost via poorly insulated pipes which can drive up your energy bills considerably. By taking this simple step you can save money in the long run, and it is also a chance to inspect your pipes to make sure there is nothing which needs addressing.
  • Secure your home – holiday homes are a prime target for thieves, and it is easy to spot a building which has been empty for months. It sounds simple but many thieves will give up at the first hurdle, so make sure your home is secure and that all doors/windows are locked. Some insurers will lower your premium if you secure you home with specific approved locks. You may also want to consider CCTV, both to keep a watchful eye over your home when you are not there and to further put off any potential intruders.
  • Maintain your garden – an overgrown and untended garden is a dead giveaway that nobody is at home. Even if it means you need to hire a gardener to come once a month, it is a small price to pay to help dissuade burglars from making your holiday home their next target. A home with a well looked after garden not only looks better, but it can add value to your property and the rental price.

Fill out our simple holiday insurance contact form to find which of our partners has the right policy for you!

Why Use Quotesearcher

  • Only deal with UK leading insurers
  • No need to shop around to find the best deal
  • One stop solution for all your insurance needs