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Overseas Archive

Smoke detectors required in French holiday homes

France has traditionally lagged behind the UK in using smoke detectors in homes. It’s estimated that only 5% of houses in France are fitted with a smoke alarm, compared to 90% in England. An alarming statistic considering house fires are responsible for 800 deaths per year. Furthermore, you are twice as likely to die in a house fire that has …

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Overseas home insurance pitfalls

Overseas home insurance pitfalls

Should you choose a local broker for your overseas holiday home or insurance from a UK based company? It’s a decision that many property owners face. If you are based in the same country where your overseas property is then it makes sense to choose a local insurer that you can visit should you need to discuss your policy. However, …

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30+ travel tips to cut the cost of your next holiday

Before you jet off to sunnier climes, here are 30 or so resources on money saving tips for holidays abroad and advice should something go wrong. Enjoy… Flights Cheap flights are a becoming a distant memory, but there are certain ways to get cheap flights and avoid ‘hidden airline fees’. There is also expert advice if you have problems with …

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Advice and tips when driving abroad

Taking a road trip to an overseas holiday home can be a great adventure but, whether you’re using your own vehicle or a hire car, driving rules and regulations abroad can differ wildly to those in the UK. Even a trip to Europe, where driving may seem familiar, has potential pitfalls. Know the basics Before setting off it’s important to …

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Problems with building and contents insurance overseas

There are logical reasons for having both buildings and contents insurance for your property abroad with the same insurer. Primarily, claims will be dealt with by one insurer so there won’t be disputes about which insurer is responsible for settling claims – as is often the case with overseas insurers. Insurance rules are not universal. The insurance procedures and cover …

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Earthquake in Lorca Spain

Residents of Lorca in the Murcia region of Southern Spain are today surveying the damage after two earthquakes struck in quick succession. There are reports that at least eight people have died and another 167 are injured. The magnitude-5.2 tremor toppled several buildings in the historic city of Lorca, crushing cars under tonnes of rubble. Wednesday evening’s 2nd earthquake came …

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What does community building insurance cover?

If you own a holiday apartment in Spain, France or Portugal that is on a complex, check your building insurance – it could be inadequate. It is common practice that part of a holiday apartment owners community/maintenance fees goes towards the community buildings insurance. However, there is a common misconception from apartment owners that the community building insurance is sufficient …

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How to avoid hidden budget airline charges

Whether you are an overseas property owner who is a frequent flyer or are booking a diy holiday – finding the cheapest budget flights can keep holiday costs down. However, we all know that the initial price shown will be much higher once the airline has added extra card, boarding, seating, luggage and checking in charges (phew!). In fact, Which? …

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Is it safe to buy foreign currency online?

Is it safe to buy foreign currency online?

If you are looking to buy an overseas property or already own one, then no doubt the recent collapse of a major currency firm set alarm bells ringing – what protection do you have when buying currency online? Thousands of foreign exchange speculators have lost their money following the collapse, and there are fears that other companies could follow due …

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Forest fires threaten holiday homes abroad

The devastation that forest fires cause during the summer heatwaves is apparent. Russia has suffered a great loss and fire-fighters in Portugal are continuing to battle forest fires that are sweeping through the country. Infact, July was the worst month for fires in Portugal since 2005, with 5,524 registered across the country. Recent reports from Spain also indicate that July …

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French flood insurance claims deadline

For the second time this year France has witnessed devastating flooding. Following the worst flash floods seen in southern France for almost 200 years, torrential rain caused mud to pour through towns and villages in the Var region. Floodwaters reached more than six feet in some areas causing substantial damage – holiday home owners are urged to check their properties. …

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Is your overseas property insured when empty?

If the credit crunch, the ash cloud or BA strikes have affected your overseas holiday home rentals and it now stands empty for longish periods of time, you may wonder whether you you’ll need to make special arrangements for your overseas house insurance. You may wonder whether you’ll need special insurance when your property is unoccupied and what your obligations …

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Public liability insurance for an apartment in Spain

Public liability insurance for an apartment in Spain

If you have apartment insurance in Spain through a community block policy or via a Spanish bank which provides the mortgage, then this insurance is likely to cover the buildings structure against perils, such as fire and flood. But what about public liability insurance for your Spanish apartment? Most community insurance and foreign policies don’t cover public liability or provide …

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Water leak from apartment above: who pays?

Water leak from apartment above: who pays?

If you own a flat in France an apartment in Spain or Portugal then no doubt you will have concerns about who is liable should the apartment above have a water leak, from a washing machine or leaking pipe for example – which causes water damage to your apartment below. This is how most holiday apartment insurance companies in the …

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French home insurance claims for storm damage

Following the recent storm Xynthia which caused damage estimated at €1bn in France, holiday home owners in the areas recognised as natural disaster zones have been given an extension to submit insurance claims with their French insurer. The deadline is March 31. In France, normally a five-day limit applies to general storm damage claims – extended to 10 days to …

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Storms batter holiday homes in Europe

Overseas holiday home owners are urged to check their properties for storm or flood damage following the violent storm “Xynthia” which battered France, Spain and Portugal yesterday – leaving 51 people dead. The bulk of the casualties and damage was in France, hitting the Vendee and Charente-Maritime regions in southwestern France the hardest. Fierce rain and 150mph winds caused rivers …

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Flood & storm insurance for property abroad

Flood & storm insurance for property abroad

Following the devastating mudslides and floods that swept the Portuguese holiday island of Madeira, holiday home owners are urged to check their property insurance abroad covers flood and storm damage. Winds in excess of 70mph, hours of torrential rain, streams of water and mud swept through the capital Funchal, destroying homes, cars and felling trees. Adverse weather has also battered …

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How to cancel French house insurance

How to cancel French house insurance

Before you choose an insurance policy from a company in France, you should be aware that the practice of cancelling French insurance can be complex compared to the process we are used to in the UK. Unlike the UK, in France you can’t simply let a insurance policy lapse or cancel at the last minute with a phone call. Insurance …

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Guide to Buying Overseas Property

Guide to Buying Overseas Property

The Association of International Property Professionals –AIPP (the industry body for the international property market) has released the 2013 edition of its annual guide, “How To Buy Overseas Property Safely – The Consumer Guide from the Industry Body”. With the amount of contradicting advice out there, combined with horror stories of developers going bust and leaving investors out of pocket, …

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Holiday Homes in Spain Flooded

Holiday Homes in Spain Flooded

Following the torrential rain that hit Spain earlier this week, which forced hundreds of people to evacuate their Spanish holiday homes, there are reports that several properties have been flooded. Torrential rain and storms swept along the whole of Spain’s Mediterranean coast, trapping people, causing power cuts and a forcing a number of rivers to burst their banks. If you …

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Warning: French house insurance chimney sweeping clause

Warning: French house insurance chimney sweeping clause

Reading through French house insurance policy details is a task that many property owners skip when taking out a policy, especially when it is written in a foreign language. Not only is there a risk of not understanding what is actually covered, there are also unfamiliar policy conditions and exclusions that could leave you uninsured A “burning issue” that many …

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Raging Fires Threaten Overseas Homes

Raging Fires Threaten Overseas Homes

Following the blazing forest fires that caused destruction across the Southern Almeria region of Spain last week, overseas property owners are urged to check that they are adequately insured. Thankfully, it appears that none of the Spanish property owners who were forced to evacuate their homes suffered losses, but it highlights the destruction that wildfires can cause. Damage caused by …

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Earthquake Insurance – Is Your Holiday Home Covered?

Following the tragic events earlier in April when the earthquake hit several towns in central Italy, owners of holiday homes abroad are urged to check that their house insurance covers earthquake damage, as many popular second home locations are prone to natural disasters. Earthquakes in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and even the UK, don’t happen as often as they do …

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