Bournemouth and Poole are two of the most popular places to have a holiday home in the UK. According to a recent survey in the Guardian, Poole alone has over 5,700 holiday properties. Given the beauty of this part of Dorset and the investment that’s being made in Poole to improve the attractions and infrastructure for both holidaymakers and residents, it’s no surprise that so many people want to have a property here.
Having a holiday home comes with responsibilities, of course, as well as some specific risks when it comes to insurance. Given its purpose it’s quite likely that your property will be unoccupied for long periods of time. You may also choose to rent it out to other holidaymakers either as a short-term Airbnb letting or something longer. And given it’s not your primary residence and how fast property prices have risen in the area – up 17% in the last 5 years – it’s easy to fall into the underinsured property trap.
To help you avoid these potentially costly problems, here is Coversure Poole’s guide to holiday home insurance. In it you’ll find specialist advice on getting the cover your second property needs plus some insider’s tips on how to save on holiday home insurance quotes.
Holiday Homes: What Cover Do You Need?
Having a holiday property brings with it a particular set of insurance risks, risks which can make standard home insurance inadequate to your needs. Let’s look at these protections in turn:
- Buildings and contents – the basics of this are the same as for your home cover, but there are some important differences – especially if you are renting your property out to paying guests. Your policy may well make provision for things such as accidental damage to fixed glass and sanitary ware or offer an extension to cover personal possessions when you take them out of your holiday property
- Public liability – this is extremely important if you are letting the property out to members of the public. If you are then public liability insurance can cover you against legal fees and potential compensation claims if someone is injured or their property is damaged whilst in or by your property. Even if you don’t have paying guests its worth considering this if your property is left unoccupied for long periods. Having a property laying empty increases the likelihood of minor repairs – a loose slate or a barge board, for instance – going undetected. In the event of a storm, or even just through a process of ongoing weathering, these could work loose and injury someone or damage their possessions
- Loss of rent – this is obviously only an option if you are renting it out. If you are, then it’s a good idea to have it place. In the event of you not being able to rent your holiday home – because of flood, fire or some other accidental disaster – it will cover your lost rent until you are able to get things back to normal
- Unoccupied property insurance – whether you rent your property or not, the chances are that there will be times when no one is living in it. This can be a major problem as standard home insurance is unlikely to protect a property if no one is living in it. Homes left empty even for a few weeks at a time can require specialist unoccupied property insurance. These polices cater for the additional risks associated with being empty – vandalism, burglary, leaks or fires going undetected
- Underinsurance – this is a significant and growing problem in the UK with around 7m homes currently underinsured. The percentage of holiday properties that are underinsured is thought to be significantly higher as their owners are even less likely to review their contents and rebuild valuations – the basis of home cover – annually. Underinsurance is no joke. If your valuation is wrong and you need to make a claim then you could be out of pocket to the tune of thousands, so it’s well worth getting it appraised on a regular basis. The best time to do it is when you are shopping around for your holiday home insurance quotes
Top 5 Tips for Saving on Holiday Home Cover
So, how can you save on the cost of holiday residence cover? Here are Coversure Poole’s 5 simple ways to save:
- Check the policy – and make sure you have adequate provision for things you need – such as liability and unoccupied cover – but that you are not paying for things you don’t need. For example, possessions cover is sometimes included on your normal house policy so check this so you don’t end up paying twice
- Shop around – or better still get your insurance broker to shop around for you. An independent insurance broker such as us have access to a wide range of policies from a panel of leading insurers. We’ll be happy to the shopping around for you and as we know what you do and don’t need, we can save you time and money on getting the protection that’s right for you
- Pay annually – while it can be convenient to pay monthly, if you can pay annually you may be able to get a better deal
- Combine with home insurance – its sometimes possible to create a package of cover that protects both your primary residence and your second home. Doing so can avoid duplication of cover and can work out cheaper than taking out two policies. It can also save you time as you’ll only have one renewal date to worry about and one insurer to deal with in the event of a claim
- Make extra security provisions – securing your holiday home can make a big difference to your quotes – especially if the property will be left empty for any period of time. Adding even basic security measures – outside lights, window locks, deadlocks and ensuring sheds and outbuildings are properly secured – can all help. Web-based burglar alarms and webcams are good too, and if you can get a friendly neighbour to look in regularly, then so much the better.
Like Some More Help?
If you’d like some more help getting the right insurance for your holiday or second home – whether you let it out or not – then lease get in touch. We’ll be happy to give the benefit of our experience, give you all the advice you need and we can also offer you a highly-competitive, no-obligation holiday home insurance quote. You can call the Coversure Poole team on (01202) 801 782 or email us by clicking here.