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Holiday Home Insurance Archive

The difference between a compulsory and voluntary excess

Reading Time: 3 minutes When talking about insurance for holiday properties and second homes (and insurance for a permanent home for that matter), the term ‘insurance excess’ may cause a little confusion, especially by the use of the terminology ‘compulsory’ or ‘voluntary’ excess. Here we explain what they mean – and how they may affect you when claiming. The insurance excess The claims excess …

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Providing proof of purchase for insurance claims

Reading Time: 3 minutes All insurance policies, irrespective of their nature, contain terms and conditions.  These are sometimes, perhaps unfairly, referred to as ‘the small print’ – with the implication being that the insurer is somehow trying to sneak something past you on your home insurance policy. This is certainly a misperception. In fact, these conditions exist to help clarify what cover the policy …

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Does insurance cover storm damage to fences & gates?

Does insurance cover storm damage to fences & gates?

Reading Time: 2 minutes The position with regards to second homes insurance and storm damage to fences or gates is relatively clear. In most cases, they are typically not covered for that type of risk. Why not? The problem is that many garden fences and gates are wooden or contain wooden components. That may make them vulnerable – for example, wooden posts driven into …

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Burst pipes: the biggest threat to your holiday home

Reading Time: 2 minutes When you take out insurance for holiday homes you are protecting against the unforeseen. Flooding, fire, theft – but what is the biggest threat to holiday homes? Escape of water (burst pipes). Here are some recent figures from the ABI (Association of British Insurers). Insurers paid out £1.4bn in ‘big freeze’ insurance claims in the UK between 24 November to …

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Renting out your house for a short period

Reading Time: 2 minutes Before you ‘sign up’ to letting your home for a short period of time, such as a month during a special event or house swap, check with your insurer if sub-letting invalidates cover. Short-term, one–off letting may have its attractions, particularly if you have a home that’s conveniently located for events such as: The Royal Wedding, Wimbledon, The Ryder Cup, …

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How keys can invalidate your insurance

Reading Time: 3 minutes The idea that your keys alone could somehow invalidate your home insurance may sound unreasonable – but it’s a fact. For example, some insurers may insist upon very precise descriptions of the door (and window) locks in your property as part of the insurance terms. Get those descriptions accidentally wrong (which may happen unless you know what exact locks you …

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Does home insurance cover snow damage?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Although a white Christmas is picture perfect, the snow leads to a flurry of insurance claims – especially burst pipes and cars crashing on icy roads. Thousands of holiday homes across the country have several inches of snow piled on roofs and in gutters. The worry is that when the thaw begins, water ingress happens and the weight of snow …

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What is a loss adjuster and assessor?

Reading Time: 2 minutes In the unfortunate event that you have a substantial second home house insurance claim, it is likely that your insurer will appoint loss adjusters. Alternatively, the claimant might employ a loss assessor. These are two largely separate functions, performed by qualified professionals and you typically would only encounter them in the context of a large claim. But what is the …

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Does home insurance cover plumbing repairs?

Reading Time: 2 minutes We have already seen the first sub zero temperatures and frosts of the year in the UK, and there are reports that this winter will see a repeat of last year’s arctic conditions. Consequently, there will be an abundance of burst pipes in holiday homes. First of all, if you discover a leak or burst pipe – don’t immediately call …

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How to evict squatters from a holiday home

Reading Time: 3 minutes What would happen if guests refuse to leave your holiday let or squatters targeted your holiday home whilst it’s empty? Thankfully the risk of squatters ‘occupying’ a UK holiday home that is let throughout the year or checked regularly is slim. However, there is always the risk that it could happen. If it does, then there are steps to take …

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Home insurance hidden costs: admin & cancellation fees

Reading Time: 1 minute I expect most of us have experienced add on fees when booking ‘cheap flights’ – which turn out to be not so cheap after all. But what about insurance ‘admin’ charges which can result in your insurance costs increasing. Recent research by Which? Money reported some insurers are charging up to £55 to make changes to policies. Seven in ten …

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Risks when renting your holiday home to friends

Reading Time: 3 minutes If you have a holiday home sometimes even your best intentions can cause you grief. Discovery of old friends A recent survey highlighted that a very high percentage of second home owners have been subjected by family or friends to a request (directly or more subtly) for a free or cheap holiday. No-doubt the credit crunch, weak pound and ‘staycation’ …

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Is your second home really ‘fully insured’?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Unless you inherited it, your second home probably cost you a considerable sum of money. As such, it’s a major asset and protecting it with appropriate home insurance is simply common sense. Second homes and risk If you don’t immediately accept the logic of that, you may wish to think for a second about the risks that could turn your …

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Theft & burglary questions to ask your holiday home insurer

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Summer holidays are upon us and it’s a time when many of you will be off to visit your holiday homes or managing hectic changeovers at your holiday rental. Although it’s likely that insurance cover for your holiday home won’t be a foremost concern during this period, it’s essential that you are aware of some areas which may leave …

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How to cancel your home insurance policy

Reading Time: 2 minutes With many types of insurance, including holiday homes cover, there is typically a period of 14 days during which you can cancel the policy if you change your mind. This so called “cooling off period” was introduced by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) – which is the body that regulates the insurance industry in the UK. It protects people who …

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Employers liability insurance for holiday homes

Employers liability insurance for holiday homes

Reading Time: 2 minutes When you first bought your holiday home, you may not have intended that it would make you into an employer too. It might though – and you may have to take account of this when insuring your holiday cottage. The reason for this is simple. If you employ someone to, say: clean your property; mow the lawns and maintain the …

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Do open windows invalidate holiday cottage insurance?

Do open windows invalidate holiday cottage insurance?

Reading Time: 2 minutes With soaring temperatures over the last week, there are signs that the ‘barbecue summer’ that was predicted over the last 3 years (but never materialised) could actually happen this year. Combined with a surge in UK holiday bookings due to the ash cloud chaos and the weak Euro, UK holiday let owners are set to have a record year. However, …

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Can insurance companies refuse to insure my house?

Can insurance companies refuse to insure my house?

Reading Time: 2 minutes There are reports that the home insurance market is set to change, as insurers reconsider their exposure following the floods and big freezes that have hit the UK since summer 2007. The knock on effect of this is that insurers are expected to increase premiums, excesses or refuse cover for high risk properties. The home insurance market The problem is …

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How to calculate holiday home contents insurance

Reading Time: 2 minutes In the increasingly competitive market of holiday letting, holiday home owners are kitting out their properties to a high standard, with quality furniture and all the latest gadgets- in an attempt to be unique. However, this often means that holiday home contents insurance sums insured are underestimated, because owners fail to take a proper inventory of their valuables. It’s estimated …

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How to calculate buildings insurance rebuild cost

How to calculate buildings insurance rebuild cost

Reading Time: 3 minutes Your holiday home is likely to be one of the largest financial investments you will make in your lifetime, therefore it is extremely important that your holiday home buildings sum insured is accurate. Astonishingly, research shows that as many as one in five households could be underinsured, risking a major financial loss should a disaster affect their home. Ultimately, it …

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What does holiday home contents insurance cover?

What does holiday home contents insurance cover?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Whether you take out holiday home contents insurance is an entirely personal choice. However, not insuring your contents could well be a false economy. In the event of a major disaster, such as your home being flooded, would you be able to pay to replace your contents? In order to appreciate what should be covered by second home contents insurance, …

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What does holiday home buildings insurance cover?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Insurance explained – is it ‘buildings’ or ‘contents’? It’s important that property owners understand what holiday home buildings insurance actually covers, as many are confused as to what items are buildings and what are contents. This confusion can lead to claims disputes and holiday homes being underinsured. If you have a mortgage on your property, the lender will insist you …

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Does insurance cover burst pipe repairs?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Due to the fact that one of the main causes of damage in holiday homes is from the escape of water, we get lots of calls from holiday home owners asking if the cost of repairing a leaking pipe is covered under their holiday home policy. It’s important to point out that insurance for holiday homes is not a maintenance …

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Is your holiday home insured during the big freeze?

Is your holiday home insured during the big freeze?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Yet again, heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures are causing chaos across the UK, Spain, France and Europe. As temperatures plummet, holiday homes and cottages are particularly vulnerable to water damage caused by burst pipes – especially those which are left empty. The cold snap last winter resulted in a sharp increase in insurance claims at holiday homes for water damage, …

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How to cut second home insurance costs

How to cut second home insurance costs

Reading Time: 2 minutes While scaling back your insurance may seem a good way of saving a few pounds on your premium, buying cheap holiday home property insurance based on price alone is false economy if you are reducing cover. There are legitimate ways of reducing your insurance premium without cutting cover. Here are our tips… Increase your excess Most policies include an excess …

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Changing to long term holiday lets in winter

Changing to long term holiday lets in winter

Reading Time: 1 minute Many tourist destinations in the UK have a limited letting season which means winter bookings may be difficult to achieve, or you may have to offer heavy discounts to entice bookings. Rather than let for low returns or leave their holiday cottage standing empty during the winter, many of our holiday rental owners switch from short term holiday letting to …

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How Non-Disclosure Could Void Insurance

Reading Time: 3 minutes With the number of people lying on insurance applications in an attempt to get a cheaper quote increasing, the implications of doing so and non-disclosure of a material fact, can result in an insurance policy being invalidated. This was recently highlighted when a major insurer demanded a customer return a £241,000 settlement they received after their home was burned down …

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Your Holiday Lodge Insurance Claim is Declined

Your Holiday Lodge Insurance Claim is Declined

Reading Time: 2 minutes Due to the number of Britons taking a ’staycation’ increasing (more than 12 million British holiday makers took a summer break in the UK this year, a rise of 14 per cent in the first six months compared with 2008) holiday lodge and log cabin sales in the UK are booming. A far cry from traditional static caravan accommodation, holiday …

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Alternative Accommodation Following a Claim

Alternative Accommodation Following a Claim

Reading Time: 1 minute Following on from our last post, which discussed the importance of ensuring that your holiday let landlords insurance provides loss of rental income so you can refund guests, there is also the issue of alternative accommodation following a claim. Similar to the loss or rent scenario discussed, a comprehensive letting policy should also provide the owner with alternative accommodation in the …

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Are you insured for theft by non-forcible entry?

Are you insured for theft by non-forcible entry?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Managing holiday lets can be challenging, especially when it comes to getting keys to holiday rental guests, cleaners or maintenance staff. If you are not on-site to meet your guests on arrival, then you need to have a foolproof way of ensuring guests receive keys to your holiday home. One of the most popular methods is to use a lockable …

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