You can insure the following types of properties abroad in popular European countries like Spain and Portugal:
Some locations that are subject to particularly high natural disasters may be excluded from overseas holiday home insurance.
The coverage will be similar to your building and contents insurance you might already hold for your primary place of residence in the UK. However, due to the unique nature of overseas property, you can also be covered by your insurance for the travel costs of attending to emergencies at the property. If you have extra contents like golf clubs or solar panels in the property, this can be covered too.
The terms and conditions of each policy will outline what is included, and what is excluded.
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.
If you do, standard home insurance may not be sufficient. If you rely on regular rental income you may wish to consider insurance coverage for loss of rental income, should there be unforeseen circumstances, like a global pandemic.
Overseas property insurance can also 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.
Some of these inclusions will be offered as standard in an overseas property insurance policy, others may be optional extras at an additional cost.
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.
Accidental damage Especially on holidays, accidents can happen to your property as people unwind and enjoy themselves. Your overseas property 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 as an optional extra.
Public liability cover for guests and staff on the property.
No, but it may be a condition of the mortgage you might have for the property that the property is insured at all times.
You may also 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. It may also require your property to be regularly occupied. An overseas property you only use occasionally may be unoccupied regularly.
Different policies will allow different periods of time the property can remain unoccupied for. 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.
For this reason you may find it more expensive to insure your overseas property abroad than your primary residence in the UK.
Try not to leave valuables in your overseas home if it is unoccupied for regular periods of time.
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