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Protect the structure and contents of your holiday home even when you’re not there

Holiday home insurance is designed to cover a second property used at different times throughout the year

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Last updated
August 11, 2023

What is holiday home insurance?

Standard home insurance is tailored to cover properties that are permanently occupied. Holiday properties need a different kind of cover because they’re usually left empty for long periods and are at greater risk of theft or damage. This form of cover is usually called holiday home insurance and is designed to cover a second property used by you and your family on and off throughout the year.

If you rent out the property or allow friends and family to stay there for free you may want to consider holiday let insurance instead. 

Whether you buy a holiday home policy or holiday let cover make sure it includes public liability insurance. This will protect you from claims brought by other people, including tradesmen, visitors, paying and non-paying guests.

Holiday properties need a different kind of cover because they’re usually left empty for long periods and are at greater risk of theft or damage."

What does holiday home insurance cover?

Holiday home insurance usually offers the same cover as a standard home insurance policy, including:

Building insurance: This covers permanent structures, such as walls, roofs, floors and windows, as well as fixtures and fittings.

Contents insurance: This covers any personal belongings you keep at home. 

You shouldn’t keep valuable items in your holiday property when you’re not there because they’re at greater risk of theft.

Depending on your policy, you may also be offered extra protection specific to holiday homes, including:

Longer unoccupancy period: this covers your home when it’s left empty for typically more than 30 or 60 days. Some holiday home policies offer an unlimited period of protection. Our comparison shows the unoccupancy period each policy offers.

Travel to your property: this covers the cost of travelling to your overseas holiday home in case of an emergency. Our comparison shows which policies cover properties abroad.

Do I need holiday home insurance?

It’s not a legal requirement, but UK and foreign mortgage providers usually insist you have buildings cover to protect their investment. The same goes for public liability insurance if you let your holiday home. In any event, it makes sense to get adequate protection.

How to choose the best holiday home insurance

It’s important that you find the right cover for your needs, so here are three things to consider during the decision making process:

What’s covered

To find the right insurance you’ll need to decide what you need the holiday home insurance to cover. Do an audit of the home and be realistic with the value of the items.

To rent, or not to rent

If you would like to rent out your holiday home then this will impact the type of holiday home insurance you’ll need. Therefore, before choosing insurance, take this into consideration.

When it will be occupied

The very nature of a holiday home means that it won’t be occupied constantly, so think about how often it’ll be left unoccupied as this will also be a factor in choosing the right insurance.

Additional insurance for renting your holiday home

Public liability insurance

This type of insurance protects you from losses incurred by or injury to someone visiting or staying at your holiday home.

Employers' liability insurance

If you hire gardeners or cleaners for your holiday home, you might want to consider employers' liability insurance.

Loss of rent or income cover

If someone stops paying rent but is still living at the holiday home, then rent guarantee insurance would cover for loss of rent or income. Some policies might include this cover, but always check the policy documents carefully.

Additional insurance for renting your holiday home

Public liability insurance

This type of insurance protects you from losses incurred by or injury to someone visiting or staying at your holiday home.

Employers' liability insurance

If you hire gardeners or cleaners for your holiday home, you might want to consider employers' liability insurance.

Loss of rent or income cover

If someone stops paying rent but is still living at the holiday home, then rent guarantee insurance would cover for loss of rent or income. Some policies might include this cover, but always check the policy documents carefully.

FAQs

How long can I leave my holiday home empty?

You may be able to leave your holiday home unoccupied for an unlimited period or for a maximum duration, such as for one, two, three or six months. Always check policy terms to see how long you can leave your property unoccupied.

Can I insure my holiday home with a standard home insurance policy?

No, not if it isn’t your main abode and left unoccupied for long periods. Most standard home insurance policies only cover your main residence, which can’t be left empty for 30 or 60 days.

Can I cover different types of properties?

Yes, most domestic and overseas holiday home insurance policies can cover villas, chalets and apartments. Many will also cover static caravans.

What countries can I insure my holiday home in?

Holiday home insurance providers can cover most major European countries like France, Spain and Italy. Specialist policies can cater for people with a holiday home further afield. Here’s more on how to insure your holiday home abroad.

Explore our home insurance guides

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About the author

Lucinda O'Brien
Lucinda O'Brien has spent the past 10 years writing and editing content for regional and national titles. She applies her industry knowledge to ensure readers can make confident financial decisions.

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