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The importance of holiday home insurance

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We reported in our blog on the 27th of June 2017 that many more Britons are planning to take their holidays in this country this year – the so-called staycation. This has led to a welcome surge in the holiday rental market. 

With rental income from letting your holiday home in the UK as much as double that being earned by owners of conventional buy to let accommodation, that is very welcome news if you own a holiday home. Add to that the tax breaks for furnished holiday lettings and the appeal is stronger still.

But it may also serve as a timely reminder of the importance of protecting your property with holiday home insurance: 

Why is it necessary?

  • unlike your permanent place of residence and unlike any buy to let property you may own, a holiday home is likely to spend relatively long periods during the year empty and unoccupied – especially when out of the normal holiday season;
  • that is when any property stands at its most vulnerable, over and above the normal risks of fire, storm damage, flooding, impacts, vandalism and theft; 
  • even when your property is unoccupied, therefore, holiday home insurance may continue to provide building and contents cover, and indemnity against public liability and employers’ liability (in the event you are employing someone to caretake your holiday home); 
  • these safeguards remain in place, of course, when your holiday home is occupied – by short-term tenants or by yourself or your family – and some policies may also extend cover to protect you against damage caused by your tenants and paying guests; and 
  • remember that if you have a mortgage on the property, it is almost certainly a condition of the loan that you keep it appropriately insured at all times.

Silly season

Summer is a great time for getting your insurance up to date and letting out your holiday home, of course, but it also seems to bring out the more outrageous insurance claims – and the crazier the claim, the less likely is any insurer likely to settle.

Nevertheless, the Sun newspaper reported on the 3rd of June 2017 that insurers did pay out on a claim involving damage to the underside of a swimming pool caused by a badger that had burrowed beneath it and tried to scratch its way out.

Equally unusual was the man in holiday mood who was trying out his harpoon gun before a scuba dive, but accidently let it off, firing it into the wall, where it fused the home’s electrical circuits – best to check whether any of your paying guests this summer have plans to go scuba diving.

Some of the more unusual homes that insurers have been asked to cover include a country house being used for filming a haunted mansion movie and a holiday home in France which the owners wanted to let out for hosting a week-long nudist convention!

The uses to which your own holiday home might be put this summer may seem very tame in comparison to some of these more unusual requests.