How to insure your holiday home abroad

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If you have a second home overseas, you need to make sure it is properly insured. Here is everything you need to know about insuring your holiday home.

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Holiday homes are often at a higher risk of damage or theft because they are regularly left empty for several months at a time or rented out to other people. For this reason, it’s crucial to take out the right type of insurance to protect your holiday home.

Do UK insurers cover overseas holiday homes?

Yes, many UK insurers will offer insurance policies for holiday homes abroad, which means you don’t have to buy a policy in the country in which your holiday home is located.

A holiday home policy can give you the same cover as your residential property, including:

However, holiday home insurance will usually cover a property for a longer period compared to a standard home insurance policy. 

The benefit of taking out your policy in the UK is that you’ll be able to deal with English-speaking claim handlers, and all your paperwork will be in English, which will make claiming easier if you are not fluent in the local language.

What countries are covered?

You can find UK holiday home insurance policies that will cover your property in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and other popular European holiday destinations.

Some insurers can cover properties in up to 40 countries outside the UK, so check before you get a quote to see if your location is covered.

Countries more likely to suffer natural disasters – for example, earthquakes or extreme weather – may not be covered. Some insurers will cover them but with restrictions.

Does holiday home insurance cost more than standard cover?

Yes, insurers consider holiday homes to be riskier because they are usually left unoccupied for long periods.This means they are more prone to burglary or issues like burst pipes or water leaks, so insurance companies charge more to cover the increased risk.

What does holiday home insurance cover?

Holiday home insurance for properties abroad can offer the same buildings and contents protection as UK-based second home policies, as well as cover for:

Different types of property

Most holiday home insurance policies can cover a variety of property types, including:

  • Houses

  • Apartments or flats

  • Cottages

  • Chalets

  • Villas

  • Overseas static caravans

Many buildings policies also cover features like swimming pools, tennis courts and terraces as standard.

Travel to your property

Under your holiday home insurance policy, you should be able to claim back the cost of a return flight to your holiday home if there is an emergency, such as a burst pipe or a break-in.

You will be able to claim up to a set value for your ticket, usually around £300. Some policies also cover the cost of a second flight for a family member to accompany you.

Note that you will not be able to claim back the cost unless you have your insurer’s agreement in advance, so make sure you contact them before you travel.

Additionally, your policy may cover the cost of temporary accommodation should your holiday home be uninhabitable when you arrive.

Extra contents cover

Many policies provide extra content cover for items that might be more common in a foreign holiday home, such as:

  • Solar panels

  • Hot tubs or Jacuzzis

  • Golf carts and clubs

However, you should avoid leaving any valuable items in your second home while you are not there because this will increase the risk of theft.

Here is everything that you can cover under your contents insurance.

Renting your holiday home

If you want to rent out your property abroad to earn extra income while you are not using it, you may need additional cover:

  • Accidental damage: this will cover any damage caused by tenants to the items in the property while it is let. It can also cover replacement locks if your keys are lost.

  • Public liability insurance: this will protect you if your tenants are injured or if any of their property is damaged while staying in your property.

  • Employer's liability insurance: this is worth having if you employ any gardeners or cleaners because it can protect you if they are injured while working for you.

  • Loss of rent or income: you can claim up to a set amount if your property cannot be rented out following an incident, like a flood or fire. Check the policy carefully because most only cover income from bookings that have already been made.

  • Legal expenses: covering any legal costs in the event of a dispute with tenants.

How to find the best holiday home cover

When you’re comparing holiday home policies, you should ask yourself:

  • Does it cover the country your holiday home is located in?

  • Do you need extra contents insurance, and if so are the items covered?

  • Do you need extra cover for renting out your property?

Once you have found a selection of policies that provide all the protection you need, look for the cheapest deal to get the best cover for your holiday home.

Protect your home and belongings for less by comparing home insurance policies to cover a range of property types and individual circumstances.

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