The considerations when obtaining holiday home insurance differ from those for your main home.
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 a swimming pool or tennis court.
If you’re renting out your holiday home to members of the public, it’s highly 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 ensure that your public liability insurance covers pool-related accidents. You’ll also need to protect yourself against accidents that might happen to any staff working on your property e.g. cooks, gardeners or cleaners.
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.
You can also insure for loss of rental income 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.
You’ll need to ensure that your holiday home meets the minimum security requirements laid out by your insurer. Holiday homes can be unoccupied for long periods of time, so the security stipulations will be more stringent than for your main home. Make sure that you comply with any restrictions regarding the types of window and door locks that you use. You may also want to invest in a more comprehensive security system with alarms, motion detectors, lights and cameras.
Getting to know your neighbours, especially if they live there full-time, is also prudent. Let them know if your property will be unoccupied for long periods of time and leave your contact details so that if anyone spots anything suspicious, they can get in touch with you. Offer to do the same for them if they’re away, or at least buy them a nice bottle of wine to say thank you!
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.
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 use a local provider. A big argument in favour of choosing a UK provider is the language barrier as 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 being unable to communicate easily.
If in doubt on any of these issues, get advice from a specialist holiday home insurer.