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What is holiday home insurance?

A holiday home is a property that you own but don’t live in full-time. You might visit each weekend, or just during school holidays, or only occasionally for a summer break. Insuring the property with holiday home insurance can protect it from things like damage, fire, and theft, whether this happens while you are there, or when the property is empty.

Why take out holiday home insurance?

Your holiday home is different from your primary home.

If you have secured a dream property for your holidays each year, you want to protect it for many holidays to come. You might worry about the safety of the property if it is empty in a remote location most of the time. Holiday home insurance will give you peace of mind for this. 

Can I insure a property in another country?

If your property is abroad, you may think you can only insure the property through an insurer based in that country. You can choose to do that, however there may be language barriers and those policies may be more difficult to understand. 

The claims process may be different to a British policy, for example. 

You have the option of instead taking out a policy from a UK-based insurer which you may find more straightforward.

Do you rent out your holiday home?

If you do, standard holiday home insurance may not be sufficient.

You might need holiday let insurance instead, which can cover things like liability insurance for both guests who stay in your property, as well as any employees attending to the property for management, cleaning or maintenance reasons.

What does holiday home insurance cover?

  • Building and contents The main structure of the building and fixtures and fittings. It will also cover things like appliances, and furniture, including soft furnishing.

  • Theft Note that if you are allowing friends or relatives to stay there, some policies may exclude theft if there is no sign of forced entry.

  • Unoccupied periods If the home is for your holidays only, it is likely to remain empty for regular periods of time. Different policies will offer different periods of coverage for unoccupied property, such as more than 30 days, or 60 days.

  • Emergency travel cover - If there is an emergency at the property and you are forced to travel to the property to sort it out, holiday home insurance can cover these costs.

What optional extras should I consider?

  • Accidental damage Especially on holidays, accidents can happen to your property as people unwind and enjoy themselves. Your holiday home insurance can cover this.

  • Home emergency cover - If you need an urgent tradesperson, such as for a faulty hot water service, or a locksmith if you lock yourself out, you can add this an optional extra.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, but it may be a condition of the mortgage you have for the property that the property is insured at all times. You may feel more comfortable knowing the property is fully insured if you are not visiting the property regularly and it is empty much of the time.

A standard home insurance policy may exclude renting the property on a commercial basis if you are considering doing this when you are not using the property.

No, most insurers will cover European locations that have proven popular for British holidaymakers to own properties in, like Spain and Portugal.

Different policies will allow different periods of time the property can remain unoccupied. You can choose a policy based on how long you anticipate these periods will be during the life of the policy.

This will depend on the location of both properties. One thing to keep in mind is that if your holiday home is regularly empty, this poses a security risk. You could improve the security of your property with additional locks on doors and windows and consider an alarm system to deter intruders.

Try not to leave valuables in your holiday home if it is unoccupied for regular periods of time.

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