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Compare UK Holiday Home Insurance

Holiday Home Insurance Comparison

With an increasing number of Insurers providing UK holiday home and holiday cottage insurance it's often difficult to choose one policy from another. Some people buy on price alone, however it's false economy if the price is reflected by inadequate cover or an array of loopholes that insurers can use to wriggle out of paying claims. That's why it's essential to compare holiday home insurance very carefully.

When 'fully insured' means anything but

Some Insurers claim to provide comprehensive protection that covers all eventualities when your property is unoccupied or let. However, a closer inspection of the small print will reveal stringent security and unoccupancy conditions that you must fulfill. Failure to comply with these could mean your claim is ruled invalid, leaving you financially responsible for the loss or damage.

At Schofields, we understand that the very nature of holiday homes means they are likely to be left empty for long periods between holidays or let commercially. Our policy provides comprehensive cover when they are. You are protected when your holiday home is left unoccupied or holiday let.

Outlined below are some of the typical risks that can affect a UK holiday home and the small print in policy documents to look out for. Before you choose a policy, compare holiday home insurance offered by Schofields, we offer one of the most comprehensive policies in the UK.

Product Features
Schofields
Other Insurers
Damage caused by the escape of water
Yes
Check Terms
Other Insurers

Our experience is that water damage is the main threat that holiday home owners face.

Generally, policies exclude loss or damage caused by water leaks whilst a holiday home is unoccupied unless you comply with specific policy conditions. Most insurers require that the water is turned off at the mains and all equipment drained to its full extent.

During winter months, the temperature in many parts of the UK falls below freezing and a large proportion of holiday homes suffer burst pipes. The water can run for several days before a leak is discovered. This means that the entire building could be saturated with thousands of gallons of water, causing substantial damage. Unless the property owner complies with the unoccupancy obligations outlined in the policy, it is unlikely that these claims would be covered.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

As standard there are no requirements to drain down, leave the heating on or turn off the water. Upon review of applications Underwriters may apply terms.

No restrictions during periods of unoccupancy
Yes
Check Terms
Other Insurers

Check to see if your insurer has a restriction on the length of time a property can be unoccupied. Usually, restrictions apply when properties are empty for more than 30 consecutive days. Some policies also require a weekly holiday home inspection. Failure to comply with the unoccupancy requirements could mean your claim is ruled invalid.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

A quick holiday home insurance comparison with the Schofields policy will immediately reveal that as standard, our policy does not have unoccupancy restrictions. The policy provides comprehensive cover provided you take reasonable precautions to prevent loss or damage.

No security requirements
Yes
Check Terms
Other Insurers

Theft or attempted theft is a constant threat to holiday homes. Typically other Insurers will not pay out on a claim unless certain security measures are in force when your holiday home is unoccupied. Doors must be fitted with a 5-lever mortice deadlock or equivalent, windows must be fitted with key operated security devices, and the burglar alarm must be operational whenever your property is unoccupied. To have security warranties like this written into the policy wording means that unless they are strictly complied with, insurers can turn down a claim.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

We do not have any specific security requirements for policies with a contents sum insured that is less than £50,000.

Theft cover
Yes
Check Terms
Other Insurers

It is common for other insurers to only cover theft if there are signs of forced entry, so entry through an open window would not be covered. They also exclude theft by tenants.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

Our wide theft cover also includes theft by non-forcible entry and theft by tenants. This means that if a key holder, like a previous guest, contractor or cleaner, enters your house and steals the contents you will be covered.

Accidental damage to buildings and contents
Yes - Optional
No
Other Insurers

Some Insurers only provide this cover as an optional extra only when the property is used exclusively by the owner. There tends to be no accidental damage cover when the property is lent to friends or relatives and certainly not when let out commercially.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

The fact that someone could damage your property is a constant worry for cottage owners, especially when the property is being rented by others. It's generally true that guests are not as careful as owners and a surprising number of people seem to use carpets as ironing boards! Common accidental damage to contents claims include breakage of appliances due to misuse, spillages and scorched kitchen worktops for buildings claims.

Schofields accidental damage (optional extra) protects you even when you holiday let your property, so you don't have to worry about damage by guests. We also cover malicious damage and damage by pets.

Employers & public liability insurance
Yes
Yes - Low Cover
Other Insurers

Typically, other insurer's only give £2m cover or they charge extra to increase this figure. With some policies it doesn't extend to cover guests.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

We automatically provide £5m public liability cover and £5m employer's liability cover. These are litigious times and liability insurance will cover you for legal costs and expenses following death, injury or damage to a third party on or near your property.

Swimming pools and liability insurance
Yes
Check Terms
Other Insurers

Although this seems a silly exclusion, given that even in the UK some holiday homes feature a pool or hot tub of some sort, some insurers exclude liability for swimming pool usage. This leaves you potentially exposed to legal action following injury to third parties in or around the pool.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

Swimming pools (and covers) are insured under the buildings section of a Schofields policy. Protection includes public liability insurance of £5m, which covers liability claims arising from the usage of swimming pools. E.g. in the event of an accident in or around swimming pool such as slips and trips or cuts from broken tiles.

Excess
Yes
Yes - High
Other Insurers

Many insurers have a high excess. Consequently, in the event of a small claim it may not be worth claiming if your excess is high. There will be an additional cost (on top of your premium) of the excess in the event of any claim, which is likely to be more than the small saving made by having a higher excess.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

Our policy has a low £50 standard excess, increased to £250 for damaged by the weight of snow, £500 for escape of water (the escape of water excess can be reduced for an additional premium) and £1,000 for subsidence, landslip or heave claims. Our premiums are very competitive, however you can opt for a higher excess in order to lower the premium.

Temporary accommodation and loss of rent
Yes
Check Terms
Other Insurers

If you are letting out your property and it becomes uninhabitable due to flooding for example, other policies only cover the costs of alternative accommodation incurred by the policyholder. Paying guest who may be using the property are not covered. It is also wise to check what loss of rent cover is provided should you have to cancel bookings.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

A Schofields holiday home insurance policy will cover additional accommodation expenses incurred by you and your guests. We'll also cover you for the loss of pre-booked rental income in an amount of up to twice the contents sum insured.

Claims handling
Yes
Yes - Outsourced?
Other Insurers

In some cases, claims are outsourced beyond the UK, resulting in what can be an impersonal, frustrating and drawn out process.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

Claims are dealt with by Adjusting Associates, a UK based claims handler with a proven track record in resolving common holiday home claims.

Emergency travel
Yes
Check Terms
Other Insurers

Some policies offer this cover but it's highly conditional. There's usually a limit on the amount of cover insurers will give for emergency travel and you are only covered if the property is deemed "uninhabitable". This is a term which is open to many levels of interpretation at the insurer's discretion.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

Our Underwriters will include all such emergency travel costs in a claim settlement when, as is often the case, the attendance on site mitigates the overall cost of the claim.

Theft from outbuildings
Yes
Yes - Low Cover
Other Insurers

Typically, if this cover is offered at all, there is a very low limit on theft from outbuildings.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

We offer this cover and do not have a limit. It's surprising how the value of a lawnmower (especially petrol ride-on models), barbecues, garden tools and garden furniture can quickly add up to a substantial sum.

If you have a ride on lawnmower or quad bike at the premises these items must be disclosed on your application form.

Accidental damage to domestic supplies
Yes
Yes - Low Cover
Other Insurers

Some insurers have a limit for what they pay out for accidental damage to domestic supplies, for example underground water supplies. £500 is a fairly typical average limit imposed by most, but these claims can run into thousands of pounds, so £500 is not nearly enough.

Benefits of a Schofields policy

Our cover on accidental damage to domestic supplies is unlimited.

The above is a summary of cover and should be read in conjunction with the full terms and conditions of a Schofields UK holiday home insurance policy. We suggest that you check your own policy for a specific comparison.

If you are confused about what cover you need, read our guide to insuring holiday homes.

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