Do you have a second home in the UK? If so, then holiday home insurance may well be for you.
Insurance can cover a number of situations, and for holiday homes, the fact that they are not (usually) occupied all the time. That can increase risks such as theft, vandalism or water damage. There are some practical steps you can take, but also taking insurance may be a wise choice.
At Emerald Life we pride ourselves on being able to offer effective and flexible cover for a wide range of customers. We understand that a second or holiday home is unlikely to be occupied all the time and so can help you through the process of getting the right holiday home insurance cover for you.
Call us today and find out how we can get your holiday home insurance sorted fast with a competitive home insurance quote.
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Table of Contents
Why Might I Need a Holiday Home Insurance policy?
Your holiday home is where you go to relax, and it may also earn you an income. You want to make sure that it is protected against adverse events so that it isn’t a worry when you aren’t there. If your property is unoccupied for a long period of time or is not your main residence, a standard home insurance policy may well not give you cover.
Many insurers do not like to offer cover for what they class as ‘non-standard’ home cover. Emerald is different – we can cover various holiday homes, second homes, let homes etc, and for many of these you can get a quote online in minutes.
The use of holiday homes can vary a lot. You might leave your holiday home unoccupied for long periods of time. On the other hand, you might let it out for a lot of the time you are not there. That means you need a policy more like landlord insurance that includes cover for things like your contents such as furniture and appliances.
Similarly you want to ensure you have the right public liability cover in case someone is injured on the property and decides to take legal action against you.
Your holiday home may also be of an unusual construction. For instance, it could be timber-framed as a self-build or it could be a listed property. Both of these examples are types of property we should be able to cover, even if they are unoccupied or let out as holiday homes.
What is UK Holiday Home Insurance?
A holiday home policy looks very similar to insurance for your main home. You can get cover for both buildings and contents against a familiar range of risks (such as fire, theft etc). However there are some additional limitations – for example theft cover is more limited when you have paying guests in the property – so it is important to check the terms of any policy before you buy.
If the property is mortgaged then your lender will probably require you to have buildings insurance as a safeguard against events like fire as the destruction of the property without any financial protection would leave them empty-handed. Even if you own the property outright then holiday home insurance can still be a good idea.
Your holiday house is meant to be an escape from the stresses of your everyday life. Let’s face it – if you have a holiday home then the chances are you’ve worked hard for it. That purpose is defeated if it ends up causing you more stress. Holiday home insurance can help give you peace of mind that your retreat remains a happy place so you don’t need to worry about it when you’re not there.
You should also consider contents insurance for things like electronics and furniture. While many insurers refuse to cover your home when it is unoccupied, remember that the chances of theft and damage are higher and many insurers simply don’t want to take that risk on. That’s where specialised insurers such as Emerald come in.
As with any insurance, it is important for you to check that the cover offered meets your needs. If you are unclear about anything in a policy, you should call the insurer for guidance. At Emerald’s call centre – on 0330 1113 7109 – we have trained underwriters on the phone to give you an answer to any question as soon as we possibly can.
Like many insurers, we can only insure UK holiday homes. That is because the insurance market is tightly regulated and the authorities that govern it only have control in the UK. If it’s not UK holiday home insurance that you require then unfortunately you will need to look elsewhere for a holiday home insurance policy.
What Do I Need to Know When I Apply For UK Holiday Home Insurance?
When applying for insurance you are expected to inform your insurer of any relevant details that may affect the premium.
In general our quote process asks plenty of questions which should cover everything we need to know.
- Details about the property including rebuild cost (try an online calculator), number of bedrooms and the construction materials of the roof, walls and floors.
- Your own history including claims and any bankruptcies, IVAs and CCJs.
- Your use of the property
- Your security such as locks and doors. These should be either mortice deadlocks or multipoint locking systems that comply with BS3621. Most of these will say on the lock itself if it conforms.
- If you run a rental company and so are applying for holiday home insurance on behalf of a company then that is also fine.
How Can I Protect my Holiday Home and Save Money On Insurance?
Generally the things that save you money and reduce your risk will also make you easier to insure and so it’s worth considering a few improvements. Fitting burglar and fire alarms are likely to improve your risk profile along with fitting modern multi-point locks that conform to high security standards on doors and windows.
Most insurers will want windows to be secured while you are away and a property that looks secure will attract less attention. Similarly, there are also some common sense tips on minimising the risk of theft – don’t leave valuables clearly visible and make sure that the property is visited regularly. For very little cost you can also set up lighting systems that are on timers and have any post redirected.
Thieves can quite easily tell if you leave a home for long periods of time. Meanwhile a simple leak in the roof could turn into a flood while you’re out. That’s why even with unoccupied home insurance we still require checks every 14 days just to be sure. That could be by a neighbour, a cleaner or yourself if you are insuring a weekend home.
Don’t forget that as with all insurance products it is important to shop around to find the right holiday home insurance UK for you.
Different insurers will price holiday home insurance cover differently and are likely to vary in terms of their conditions. Some will wnat regular inspections while others may have requirements that utilities be kept on or off.
Remember that shopping around does not mean relying on a single comparison site. For one thing holiday home insurance is a complex product a comparison site is unlikely to be able to sort effectively. Meanwhile a lot of insurers will deliberately boost their position on comparison sites with special pricing or more limited policies that are more difficult to claim under. Also remember that no comparison site offers a complete view of the market.
A lot of insurers, ourselves included, are not on a lot of comparison sites and save our best prices for customers who enquire directly. That’s because comparison sites can be costly while we prefer to pass the savings directly on to our customers.
Holiday Home Insurance UK – Types of Property
The types of property with holiday homes and holiday lets can vary. But the biggest concern is about freeholds and leaseholds.
If you own a leasehold flat then buildings insurance will usually be covered by your freeholder. However, your lease will probably require that you inform them of your intentions to use the property as a holiday let. You may also wish to consider separate cover for your contents and public liability.
If you are a freeholder who owns a block of flats that are holiday let – or if only some are holiday let – then this is also a kind of holiday home insurance we can help with as we have lots of experience with freeholder building insurance.
Key considerations with freeholder insurance besides our usual questions are details of any other freeholders and the occupancies of the other flats – whether they be owner occupied, let to employed professionals or used as short term holiday lets. We will also ask how many bedrooms there are in the largest flat in order to provide an accurate holiday home insurance quote.
What insurance do I need for holiday let?
Holiday let insurance is basically a form of landlord insurance. As a minimum this should include some buildings cover that insures the amount the property would cost to rebuild if it were totally destroyed.
There is no legal requirement to have buildings insurance but your mortgage lender is likely to insist on it and it is a good thing to have anyway given your investment in the property.
In general holiday let insurance is not that different to standard landlord insurance but you must be clear and upfront with your insurer about it being a holiday let and the kinds of stays you will be booking.
The key differences between a holiday let insurance policy and landlord insurance is any periods of unoccupancy between tenants and the additional security risk of having lots of different people attend the property over time.
What is the difference between a holiday home and a second home?
In general a natural assumption would be that a holiday home is more seasonal while a second home you may visit more regularly such as at weekends. That said from an insurance perspective the name of your other home doesn’t really matter.
What your insurer will want to know is details like how long it is unoccupied, how often it is inspected and is it ever let out to third parties. For that reason a holiday home is probably going to be more complex than a second home that is visited regularly but in either case call our team and we will try to get you a comptetitive quote.
What are the next steps?
You can get a quote in minutes HERE, and if you have any questions, you can call our home underwriting team on 0330 113 7109 any weekday between 9am and 5pm or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
When you receive your holiday home insurance policy remember to check through all the details to make sure our holiday home insurance is right for you. Remember that you have a 14-day cooling off period where you can get a full refund should you not be happy with your holiday home insurance.