The considerations that apply when you’re obtaining insurance for a holiday home differ from those for your main home. If you’re in the process of choosing a holiday home insurer, here are some things to bear in mind to help you make the right choice.
Talking to the right insurers
First and foremost, it makes sense to get advice from a specialist holiday home insurer, who will understand the particular issues arising from this type of property, as well as the special conditions that may apply. It’s also worth seeking legal advice on the requirements for letting a holiday home in your country of choice; there are likely to be national laws governing the use of your home by paying guests (France’s Raffarin Law on swimming pools is one example), so make sure you comply with these to ensure your insurance policy remains valid.
Types of insurance for holiday homes
Buildings and contents
Regardless of how you plan to use your holiday home – whether for your own private use or for renting to holidaymakers – you’ll need to take out both buildings and contents insurance, just as you would for your main home. Make sure your cover includes any unusual features of your holiday home, like the swimming pool or tennis court, and that your insurance covers the full cost of replacing everything.
Public liability and accidents to domestic staff
If you’re renting out your holiday home to members of the public, it’s also advisable to obtain public liability insurance, which protects you from claims holidaymakers might file against you if they’re injured during their stay. If you have a swimming pool, you’ll need to make sure that your insurer knows about it and that pool-related accidents are covered in your public liability insurance. If domestic staff – such as cooks, gardeners or cleaners – will be in the property, you may also want to ensure that you’re covered for any accidents that may happen to them while they’re on your property.
Accidental damage and loss of keys
With members of the public staying in your property, it goes without saying that accidental damage cover and loss of keys insurance are likely to be wise investments!
Loss of rental income and alternative accommodation
You can also insure for loss of rental income on pre-booked weeks in the event of something happening to the property that’s covered in the buildings insurance (for instance, if the property is flooded). Alongside this, you might want to consider covering yourself for the cost of alternative accommodation should the worst happen.
UK or overseas insurer?
If your holiday property is in the UK, your decision is straightforward – but what happens when you buy a property overseas? You can choose to take out insurance cover with a UK insurer or go with one from the country your holiday property is in. A big argument in favour of choosing a UK provider is the language barrier; you may not be able to understand the intricacies of your insurance policy unless you’re fluent in that language. If you need to make a claim, an already difficult situation could be made worse by not being able to communicate fluently.
Minimum security requirements
You’ll need to ensure that your holiday home meets the minimum security requirements laid out by your insurer. Holiday homes may be unoccupied for long periods of time, so the security stipulations may be more stringent than for your main home. We’ll cover this in another post.