What is UK holiday home insurance?

Posted: 5th Nov 2015

To answer that question, it might be helpful to consider some of the possibilities in order to narrow down the definition.

On the face of it, for example, it might seem that UK holiday home insurance is likely to share many similarities with the following.

Home insurance

Home insurance is the name generally given to two distinct types of insurance used to protect the principal home in which you live. The two parts are building insurance and contents insurance. Although they protect separate aspects of your home, they are commonly bought as a combined policy – and you typically earn a discount on the premiums for doing so.

The two are certainly widely held products – the latest figures published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), for example, show that out of nearly 27 million households in the UK, more than 20 million have contents insurance and 17 million also have building insurance.

Just as the terms suggest:

  • building insurance protects the structure and fabric of the building itself against such – potentially major – events as flooding, fire, storm damage, escape of water, impacts, theft and vandalism;
  • contents insurance protects against the same risks, but to the belongings and possessions you keep in the home and may also extend to accidental damage.

To the extent that your UK holiday home also needs protecting against similar risks, it is similar to your standard home insurance policy with respect to the building and contents insurance.

As far as your insurers are concerned, however, the two types of cover differ in at least three crucial respects:

  • the use of your holiday home as just that – not the home in which you permanently reside, but one used solely for the purpose of holidays;
  • as a holiday home, there may be significant periods during the year when it is unoccupied – and vulnerable to all the additional risks which may be faced by an empty property; and
  • if you choose to let your holiday home to others, there are periods during which the property is occupied by tenants – whom insurers regard differently to owner occupiers.

Landlord insurance

If insurers take a particular interest in the use to which a property is put, including your letting the property to tenants, perhaps the cover you need is landlord insurance?

Buy to let insurance is also the landlord’s way of protecting the building and its contents against the major risks such as fire, flooding, storm damage, impacts and so on, but on the understanding that the property is essentially a business investment relying for its income in the shape of rents from tenants.

Holiday home insurance

At Cover4LetProperty, we regard holiday home insurance as falling somewhere between standard home insurance and landlord’s buy to let insurance.

Holiday homes have a specific use as a second rather than primary place of residence, they may be occupied by their owners, by tenants, or stand empty for certain periods or seasons of the year.

Holiday home insurance, therefore, is in a class of it’s own and, in order to arrange it, you might want to consult a specialist in the provision of what is essentially a niche insurance product.

Further reading: Cover4LetProperty Guide to UK Holiday Homes.