Minimum security requirements

As you may well know, insuring a holiday home or second home is much different to insuring your main residence. The main reason for this is the difference in occupancy and the risks associated with unoccupied properties. Unfortunately, holiday homes are much more likely to be targeted by thieves due to the long periods of time that they are not occupied. For this reason holiday home insurers require a certain standard of security to be able to cover your holiday home against theft.

One of the most prominent requirements in making your holiday home insurable against the peril of theft is the standard of lock fitted to your doors. This can be a worry for holiday homeowners looking for insurance, as there is a range of different lock types and brands available for a range of different types of doors.

A problem insurance advisors face when it comes to security requirements is that they cannot advise on the suitability of your lock, based upon your descriptions, which places the responsibility in your hands to know if your lock complies. The flipside of this is that a lot of homeowners may not know whether their locks comply or how to find out. The foolproof way to know that your locks comply is to request the service of a locksmith. A good locksmith will know whether or not your locks are insurable, but can also bring your home up to the standard in the case that they aren’t.

Some insurers may have different definitions of insurable lock, but it is safe to say that if your lock is classed under the British Standard, BS3621, then it is insurable. You can identify locks to this standard, as they will clearly display the kite mark stamped on the lock.

At “Insurance for Holiday Homes” you can rest assured that your lock is acceptable if it is five-lever mortice certified to BS3621. However even if it isn’t kite marked to the British standard, locks defined as ‘five-lever mortice deadlock’ are also insurable.

Another acceptable lock can be found in the form of multi-point locking systems, which are very common in modern UPVC doors.

The bottom line when it comes to your locks is, if they display the kite mark, they’re insurable, but if in doubt, get a professional opinion.

Now that your doors are insurable, you need to make sure your windows are also compliant. Unlike door locks there is no Kite marked ‘standard’ that we require, however when your contents are insured for over £30,000, your windows must have key operated locks, or shutters with internal catches.

For more extravagant holiday homes with contents insured at a much higher value, insurers may require that there is a burglar alarm installed.