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What is holiday let insurance?

A holiday let is a property that you own but let out which might be furnished, or unfurnished, in the UK or abroad, and could be constantly occupied, or mostly empty. Whatever the type of property, you can protect it with holiday let insurance which will cover it for damage, fire and theft, whether caused by yourself, or someone you might rent the property out to or allow to stay there.

Why take out holiday let insurance?

You may have purchased the property with the inital plans to use it regularly, not let it out and do all of the management, cleaning and maintenance required yourself. If your situation changes and you decide to make some extra income from renting the property out to other holidaymakers, you want to be sure your holiday property is covered. 

You can still usually stay in a property covered by holiday let insurance. It is common for holiday let owners to stay in their property, in between tenants.

Local versus abroad

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 for additional peace of mind.

What does holiday let insurance cover?

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

  • Accidental damage Especially on holidays, damage can happen to your property as people unwind and enjoy themselves. Paying short-term guests may not be nearly as careful with your property as you are. Whether you cause it, or someone renting the property, holiday let insurance can cover the damage.

  • Theft Some policies will include theft from paying guests, though this varies from policy to policy so don’t forget to check if this is important to you.

  • Unoccupied periods If your property remains empty for long periods, you can choose an insurance policy that covers the property for periods longer than 30 or 60 days.

  • Loss of rental income If you cannot rent the property because of an event like fire or flood, and suffer a loss of rental income.

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

How I protect other people on the property?

If you are letting a property, especially abroad, others will be on the property more frequently than yourself. If guests or people you employ to manage or maintain the property are injured on the property, you will be covered under a holiday let insurance policy with liability insurance. 

This will cover anyone visiting or staying on the property, whether it is friends, relatives, or paying guests.

If you have a permanent tenant year-round, consider landlord insurance instead of holiday let insurance.

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.

If tenants or staff are attending to the property in your absence you should cover them with the liability insurance which is included in a holiday let insurance policy. This will protect you, and them. A standard home insurance policy may also exclude renting the property on a commercial basis.

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.

There’s no obligation to personally spend time in the property for most policies. Some owners may let their property full-time, and never visit it during the period of the policy.

This will depend on the location of both properties. One thing to keep in mind is that if your holiday let 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.

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