Holiday home insurance

It's your home from home, so you'll want to get the right level of cover.

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What is holiday home insurance?

Holiday home insurance is a specialist type of policy which will cover your property, even if it’s left unattended for weeks or months on end.

Why is this necessary? Well, with a standard home insurance deal, an insurance company will typically refuse to pay out if you leave your home unoccupied for 30 consecutive days or more.

Much like with regular home insurance, you’ll have to decide whether you want to get buildings cover, contents cover or a combination of the two for your holiday home.

Is insuring a holiday home different from insuring my permanent home?

In all likelihood, yes. You won’t be able to take out a standard home insurance policy if your second home is left unoccupied for 30 consecutive days or more.

Plus, if you have tenants living in the holiday home for much of the year, you’ll probably need a specialist landlord insurance policy.

What does holiday home insurance cover?

Much like with standard home insurance it depends on what level of cover you get. Here’s a breakdown of your options:

  • Buildings cover. If you have a mortgage on your holiday home you’ll probably need, at bare minimum, this level of protection. It insures against fire, flooding and other incidents. And a decent policy should cover the cost of rebuilding your home.
  • Contents cover. You can also get contents cover which protects your home’s carpets, curtains, furniture and items like TVs and paintings.
  • Combination of the two. A home and contents insurance deal can offer comprehensive protection for both your home and everything inside it.

Do I need any additional holiday home cover?

You could well be satisfied with your main holiday home insurance policy, yet some deals aren’t all that comprehensive.

In some cases, you might need to buy additional levels of cover from your insurer. For instance, you might consider getting the following:

  • Accidental damage cover. If you have kids or you’re planning on renting out your home, accidental damage cover could help you out. For instance, if an item like a TV or fixture like a sink is smashed or broken.
  • Public liability cover. This type of insurance can cover any costs that arise from someone injuring themselves on your property. If it’s not included in your main home insurance deal, you might consider this add-on.
  • Home emergency protection. With some insurance companies you can get round-the-clock help should anything go wrong, such as a pipe bursting or your boiler breaking.
  • Alternative accommodation. This level of cover will pay to put you or any guests in temporary accommodation if an event leaves the home uninhabitable.

What if I rent out my holiday home?

If you rent out your holiday home then holiday let insurance is probably what you’re after.

This specialist type of policy can cover your property for accidental damage, if one of the tenants or guests smashes a TV for instance.

Plus it can offer public liability protection, should anyone hurt themselves while on your property.

Holiday home insurance insurance exclusions

It’s crucial you look at your holiday home insurance policy documents before signing up for good. Each insurer will have its own set of exclusions or situations where it will refuse to pay out.

Typically, any damages that arise as a result of the following won’t be covered:

  • Wear and tear. Insurers will often refuse to pay for any claim that arises from wear and tear, rusting, corrosion, damp or vermin.
  • War. While unlikely you won’t be covered for damages or loss that occurs due to a war, invasion or a similar event.
  • Radioactive contamination. Home insurance might be the last of your worries if this happens, yet insurers generally won’t pay out for any damages that result from ionising radiations or radioactive contamination from any nuclear fuel or from any nuclear waste.
  • Pollution. Insurers won’t help should any damage or loss occur as a result of pollution or contamination.
  • Terrorism. Each insurance company will have its own specific definition of terrorism, but you shouldn’t expect any help should your home be damaged or destroyed by a terrorist act.
  • Deliberate acts. Should you or someone else willingly damage your home or its contents, the insurer will refuse to pay out.
  • Existing damage. The insurer will refuse to pay for any loss or damage that happened before your policy started.

How to get the best holiday home insurance

  • Think about your cover needs. Before you launch into trying to buy holiday home insurance, work out what risks you want to guard against. That way you can be crystal clear about what level of protection your second home needs, which will make finding the ideal policy that bit easier.
  • Comb through the policy handbook. Really scan your policy documents before officially signing up with an insurer. That way you can get cover that will be there when you need it, without any nasty surprises.
  • Do your homework on the insurer. Ask friends and family and look at online reviews to work out if your prospective home insurer is a decent company. Try to find out from people whether the provider will make your life easy or hard when making a claim.
  • Compare. As ever, shop around and don’t settle for the first deal you find. By using price comparison websites you can compare the benefits, limits, costs and exclusions, so you can find the best value home insurance possible.

Frequently asked questions

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