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Your Holiday Home Insurance Questions Answered

Below is a list of frequently asked questions relating to our holiday home insurance abroad and UK second home insurance policies. If you have a question that is not included below, please call 01204 36 50 80 and we will be happy to discuss your insurance query further. Alternatively, use the ask our expert facility to email your query and we'll get back to you with an answer.

  1. Does the holiday home insurance cover holiday letting as well as private use?
  2. Which countries do you provide holiday home insurance for?
  3. Are there unoccupancy restrictions and winter heating warranties in the small print?
  4. How much should I insure for?
  5. Can you cover my main residence in the UK whilst I am working or living overseas?
  6. How can I pay for my policy?
  7. How do I view the policy wordings?
  8. Can you cover holiday cancellation due to illness etc. of the holidaymaker?
  9. What are the security terms?
  10. What does accidental damage to contents cover?
  11. What is the policy excess?
  12. Does the public liability insurance cover the use of the swimming pool at my property?
  13. Who are the insurers?
  14. I am confused as to what cover I need for my holiday home - help!
  15. How do I cancel my policy?
  16. Will you cover properties awaiting sale, being renovated or under probate?
  17. Do you cover theft?
  18. Can you insure my permanent residence abroad?
  19. Do you cover loss of rentals?
  20. Is immediate cover available?
  21. How do I make a claim?
  22. How do I contact Schofields, give feedback?
  23. What legal liability insurance is included?
  24. What do you mean by standard construction?
  25. Will you send me a renewal invitation?
  26. Can I change from holiday lets to short hold tenancy agreements?
  27. What taxes are included?
  28. What is holiday home ownership legal expenses insurance?
  29. Is this website secure?
Does the holiday home insurance cover holiday letting as well as private use?

Yes, the specialist insurance is tailored to protect you regardless of whether you holiday let your holiday home (or second home) commercially or use it for just family and friends. It essential that your insurance extends to cover holiday letting, to protect both your property and guests. Read our guide to choosing insurance for holiday lets.

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Which countries do you provide holiday home insurance for?

We insure holiday homes in;

  • the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man
  • Spain including the Balearics and Canaries
  • France
  • Italy
  • Portugal including Madeira

Please note we do not cover properties located in Southern Ireland (Eire) or Northern Ireland.

Only fulltime residents of the UK and other parts of the British Isles are eligible.

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Are there unoccupancy restrictions and winter heating warranties in the small print?

The holiday home policy wording negotiated by Schofields is extremely wide, with no unoccupancy restrictions.

We do not stipulate that your property has to be checked weekly, have specific security (unless the contents sum insured exceeds £50,000), or exclude cover if it’s empty for more than 30 consecutive days.

As standard there are no requirements to drain down, leave the heating on or turn off the water when the holiday home is unoccupied. However, upon review of applications Underwriters may apply terms.

Restrictions apply when the property is not furnished for normal habitation and we expect you to take reasonable precautions to prevent loss or damage.

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How much should I insure for?

The contents cover provided by the insurance is on a "new for old" basis and therefore the sum insured should reflect the cost of replacing carpets, furniture etc. by new. The sum insured on buildings should be the cost of rebuild not the market value.

For further information on calculating the rebuild value of your buildings and contents read the following insurance guides.

Each renewal we index link which means the sum insured will be adjusted yearly in line with the house rebuilding cost index.

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Can you cover my main residence in the UK whilst I am working or living overseas?

We cannot provide cover for properties which are your main UK residence whilst you are working or living abroad.

To clarify, we only provide cover for full time residents of the UK with a second home in the UK, Spain, France, Portugal or Italy.

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How can I pay for my policy?

Customers can either pay by cheque (made payable to Schofields Underwriting Agencies), with a Debit/Credit Card via our secure server, or over the telephone. We only accept the following credit and debit cards: Visa, Mastercard, Delta, Switch and Solo. There is no additional charge for paying by credit or debit card, Schofields pay all the extra fees.

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How do I view the policy wordings?

To view or print the full terms and conditions download the sample policy wordings here:

note: holiday homes and second homes are covered under the same policy, regardless of whether your property is holiday let or used occasionally by family and friends.

policy wording for UK holiday homes (PDF)

policy wording for overseas holiday homes in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal (PDF)

policy wording for long term lets in the UK (PDF)

Can't open the policy document? Then download Adobe Acrobat Reader from the Adobe website.

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Can you cover holiday cancellation due to illness etc. of the holidaymaker?

Yes. We can offer a proposal form for you to pass on to the holidaymaker so that they can make their own arrangements direct with us. Alternatively, holidaymakers can get cover instantly online via our holiday cancellation insurance website.

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What are the security terms?

The policy does not have security warranties, such as installing specific locks, shutters or metal grilles embedded into the wall. However, policies with a contents sum insured of £50,000 and over are subject to specific security requirements.

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What does accidental damage to contents cover?

The standard wording covers listed contingencies, such as fire, burst pipes, theft etc. (see section two: contents, of the policy wording). At an additional premium the standard cover on the contents of holiday homes can be extended to include other accidental loss or damage claims, for example, staining of carpets or breakage of furniture. This also covers accidental damage by holidaymakers.

The policy also covers malicious damage by guests and damage by domestic pets.

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What is the policy excess?

For UK holiday homes the standard excess is £50 for each loss or damage claim. A £500 excess applies for escape of water claims, a £250 excess for weight of snow claims and a £1000 excess for subsidence, landslip or heave claims.

For overseas property the standard excess is £50 for each loss or damage claim. A £250 excess applies for water damage and weight of snow claims and a £300 excess for earthquake damage.

Other excesses apply, please refer to the policy wordings.

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Does the public liability insurance cover the use of the swimming pool at my property?

For both UK and overseas property the policy includes public liability insurance of £5m, which covers liability claims arising from the usage of swimming pools. This is automatically included when you choose buildings or contents insurance and protects you in the event of an accident involving your swimming pool - for example slips and trips or cuts from broken tiles.

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Who are the insurers?

Our scheme is arranged with certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London, one of the world's leading insurers - exclusively for Schofields. Find out about Schofields Insurance.

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I am confused as to what cover I need for my holiday home - help!

Main residence insurance policies are not suitable for holiday homes and many 'so called' holiday home policies provide inadequate cover due to their exclusions. These articles are must read for people buying a holiday home or existing owners who do not fully understand what their policy does, or should cover.

Read our guides:

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How do I cancel my policy?

If you wish to cancel your policy you will need to put your request in writing by post, fax or email. After you, or we, cancel your policy, we will refund your premium as per the cancellation clause on page 4 of the policy wordings.

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Will you cover properties awaiting sale, being renovated or under probate?

No

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Do you cover theft?

The policy provides wide theft cover, including theft by tenants and theft by non-forced entry.

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Can you insure my permanent residence abroad?

No, we are unable to insure overseas homes that are your permanent residence.

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Do you cover loss of rentals?

Unforeseen incidents may prevent you from letting your holiday home. The standard cover afforded by the wording, automatically provides up to twice the sum insured on contents for loss of pre-booked rental income. If for example the contents are insured for £10,000 you would have insurance up to £20,000 for loss of rental income. Valuable peace of mind that if you have to cancel bookings due to a claim, you will be compensated for the lost income and the cost of alternative accommodation.

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Is immediate cover available?

Yes. Just follow the easy steps in the holiday home insurance quotes.

Once we receive your online quote we will review it and either confirm holding cover or request further information by e-mail, the same, or next working day. Once we confirm holding cover your policy document should be issued within 14 working days. Please note cover is not in force until you receive a confirmation e-mail.

If you are completing and need proof of insurance urgently, we can send you your schedule via fax or email.

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How do I make a claim?

Follow these instructions to make an insurance claim.

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How do I contact Schofields, give feedback?

Customers can contact us by letter, telephone or e-mail. We aim to provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction and welcome any suggestions or feedback in relation to our products/services or website.

If you have a complaint, please address it in writing to the Managing Director. We endeavour to respond to all complaints within five working days. For further information on the complaints procedure please read the policy wording.

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What legal liability insurance is included?

Claims for third party liability, i.e. claims from members of the public and holidaymakers are automatically covered for an indemnity of £5m any one occurrence, plus legal costs and expenses when legally liable. In litigious times this cover will protect you if for example a guest slips in the shower causing injury, and decides to take legal action. This also extends to cover damage to neighboring properties by the owner or tenant.

If you employ people, you have a legal responsibility to ensure they work in a safe environment. For UK properties the cover automatically provides an indemnity of £5m for employers liability claims for caretakers, cleaners or gardeners, directly employed. For property overseas it is £1m.

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What do you mean by standard construction?

Properties need to be built of brick, stone or concrete and roofed with slates, tiles, asphalt or concrete. Special rates are available for wooden structures in the UK, such as lodges, that are securely built on a concrete base with a pitched roof tiled with tiles or slates.

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Will you send me a renewal invitation?

21 days before your policy expires, we will send you a renewal invitation by post with details of how to renew and your premium. Please note we do not send out 'full policy documents' each year, just renewal invitations.

Policies can be renewed securely online.

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Can I change from holiday lets to short hold tenancy agreements?

In the main we can accommodate such change of usage however the property must be located in the UK and let to professionals, we cannot offer long term let cover for overseas policies. To arrange changing cover to a long term let basis you must contact us in writing prior to the let commencing to comply with policy notification terms. View the let property insurance page for further details.

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What taxes are included?

All quoted premiums for UK properties include Insurance Premium Tax which is levied by the Government. All quotes for overseas property include the appropriate local taxes.

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What is holiday home ownership legal expenses insurance?

This covers the eviction of overstaying guests, property infringement, consumer, residential and tax protection.

Note: this (optional) cover is only available for holiday homes in the UK. To find out more download the summary of cover and policy wording.

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Is this website secure?

We believe that security is of the utmost importance to our customers.

This site is secured utilising the highest level of encryption and security possible. When our online quotation and renewal forms ask users to enter sensitive information (e.g. credit card number) that information is encrypted and is protected with the best encryption software in the industry - SSL or Secure Socket Layer.

To verify the site security, click on the yellow padlock in your browser whilst in the quote/renewal process. This will display our site security certificate, giving proof of our commitment to ensuring your security.

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