You need to be clear what you are using your second home for!
Most will consider the second home as their own home that only they will use for breaks. However, if you decide to do just that & in addition let your second home out at the weekends or at times when you are not going to be there, you must declare this to your insurer. This changes your Holiday Home to a Holiday Home Let – subtle differences is the wording but it can make all the difference to getting the right cover. Normally this will be agreed by your insurer, but to be safe do not fail to declare it. Some insurers may only cover second homes used by the owner, and therefore failing to declare it as a holiday let, could lead to difficulty if a claim arises. Most insurers, however, may charge an extra premium as the risk factor may increase due to a third party staying at your home. Some insurers may not charge anything at all – so be clear with your insurer, exactly, what your intentions are! Saying you need Holiday Home Insurance is easy, but make sure you explain your exact set up – a good broker or insurer should be guiding you anyway by asking certain questions at the quote stage.
If you intend to let your home out to tenants for 6 months, the you will need a landlord’s policy. If you are thinking of a Holiday Let, then why not take a look at the Holiday Home Association site – you may find some useful tips and get vital support!
Why is a second home insurance policy different & can’t I just purchase a standard home insurance policy?
No. A second home if used for the likes of weekend break by you, will have extended periods of unoccupancy that will not normally or consistently be the case with main residence. Extended periods of unoccupancy will increase the risk and also will often mean there are some conditions that will need to be complied with that may not be the case with your main home. If you choose the wrong policy, the chances are you would not be complying with some conditions that would be applicable had you taken out the correct policy, leading to potential claims being declined. It is therefore essential you are clear with your insurer, as to what the property is being used as.
What will a Second home insurance policy cover for?
Assuming it is used by you only, you should expect your second home insurance policy to cover you for Public Liability for at least £2,000,000 & possibly up to £5,000,000. In addition, to liability cover you should expect to have insurance as part of the policy for the following:
Fire, Lightning & Explosion
Aircraft & other flying devices
Weight of snow
Escape of water & frost damage to fixed water tanks, apparatus or pipes
Escape of oil from fixed domestic oil-fire heating installations
Smoke damage caused by a fault in fixed domestic heating installations
Theft or attempted Theft
Collision by vehicle or animal
Riots, Strikes, Violent disorder, civil commotion and malicious damage
Subsidence, Heave or Landslip
Falling Trees, poles or lampposts
Property Owners Liability up to £5,000,000
Accidental Damage to fixed glass, solar panels, sanitary ware & ceramic hobs
Accidental Damage to oil pipes, underground water and gas supply pipes, sewers, drains & cables
Loss of Rent due to you up to 20% of the sum insured for buildings
Architects & Surveyors Fees, debris removal
Anyone buying your property until the sale is completed
Trace & Access up to £2,500
Damage to lawns and gardens up to £1,000 from result of emergency services attending the premises
Damage to buildings up to £1,000 from result of emergency services attending the premises
Costs you have to pay for replacing refilling fire extinguishers and/or fire blankets
Full accidental Damage to buildings
Remember if you have inherited a property & as a result is unoccupied, you will require an unoccupied property owner’s policy. This will most likely cover you for Fire, Lightning, Earthquake & Aircraft only. For an extra premium you may be able to add extended cover, but it will depend on the insurer. Such a policy, should also allow for renovation works (you must inform your insurer of cost & timescales & general scope of the works first). Most insurers will comfortably allow work up to £100,000 without charging an extra premium.
Top Tip – Always tell the insurer how long the property will be empty for and what you will be doing with your second home. This will enable them to assign the correct policy to you. Always declare to your insurer if you are running an air B&B – failure to do so could result in your claim being declined.