What is second home insurance?

It is a policy that can cover a property you own other than your main residence, usually somewhere you only stay occasionally.

A second home could be:

  • A holiday home you visit a few times a year. If you have a holiday home overseas read this guide to find the best cover.

  • A property you use for work during the week, for example if you live and work in London Monday to Friday and live at your family home at weekends.

  • A house you inherit and need to insure before you sell it.

  • A renovation project you are working on, while still living in your existing property.

Do you need second home insurance?

It depends on how often you stay in your second home. Check the policy carefully because some insurers will define a second home as a property you use at least once every two weeks.

If it is less than this you may need a holiday home policy or unoccupied home cover.

A standard home insurance policy may not cover your second property because most have a 30 day limit on leaving your house empty.

You may need a specific second home insurance policy to cover the increased risk of leaving your home unoccupied for long periods of time.

What cover do you need?

A second home needs the same protection as your main house, so think about getting:

You can buy these policies separately, or under one combined policy.

If your second home is unoccupied for long periods it will be at greater risk from things like burst pipes or burglary, so you need the right cover.

Some insurers insist you have certain security measures in place, like burglar alarms, when your property is left empty before they will agree to cover your contents.

Do you need extra cover?

Think about what other cover options could be useful for your second home, like:

  • Home emergency cover: This can cover the cost of any emergency repairs you need, find out how it works here.

  • Public liability cover: This could protect you if someone has an accident in your property, for example if they trip on a loose floor board.

  • Personal possessions cover: You can extend your contents insurance to cover items when you take them out of your second home, like your laptop or mobile phone. Check your main home insurance policy as you may have this cover already.

This guide includes information about all the extras you can add to your home insurance policy.

How to find second home insurance

Check with your current home insurer to see if they can extend your policy to include your second home.

This could work out cheaper because some insurers offer a discount for adding another property, and means your cover will be easier to manage under one policy.

It is important that you still compare second home policies, because you could find a better deal elsewhere.

To find the best policy you need to think about:

  1. 1.

    How long is your property unoccupied? For example, if you know you will not visit your second home very often you may need an unoccupied home insurance policy.

  2. 2.

    How much cover do you need? Work out how much buildings cover and contents protection your second home needs and find a policy that can protect you.

  3. 3.

    Do you need any extra protection? For example, if you rent out your house, or lend it to friends and family you may need extra public liability cover to protect you and your second home.

Read this guide for more information on how to find the best insurance policy for your home.