Why you may need UK holiday home insurance

Posted: 7th Sep 2018

2018 will be a summer to remember – for all the right reasons. Long days, filled with sunshine, and temperatures in the 30s, it was often difficult to find any good reason for travelling abroad for your holidays.

In fact, more than half of the population decided to forego any foreign break and instead take their holidays in the UK. More than half of us – some 57% – opted for the staycation, according to a report in the Express newspaper on the 24th of April 2018.

An article in the Mirror newspaper on the 27th of July 2018 also made the point that any staycation is within easy reach of home, you can already speak the language once you get there, using your mobile phone doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and your credit cards work perfectly well.

If you own your own holiday home, you even have somewhere to stay once you get there – and when you’re not using it, can let it out to other staycationers.

UK holiday home insurance

If you are riding the current wave of interest in the staycation, however, it is important to protect your investment with adequate UK holiday home insurance.

As we explain on the relevant page of our website, it is critical that you arrange this specialist form of property insurance for your second home.

Although there are times when you are using your retreat as the owner-occupier, it is not your principal place of residence, so standard home building and contents insurance does not provide the cover for the particular risks associated with a second home.

Some of these special risks are associated with the fact that the property may be let to other holidaymakers when you are not using it. Although you might be tempted to arrange landlord insurance for those occasions when you have tenants in residence, they are likely to be short-term tenancies only, so neither is standard landlord insurance the appropriate form of insurance.

Whether you are in residence or your second home is let to tenants, your liabilities as the property owner continue. If one of your tenants, a visitor of theirs, a neighbour or a passing member of the public is injured or has their property damaged and holds you responsible, you may be sued for a considerable amount in compensation. Property owner’s liability insurance of up to £2 million (with the option to go up to £5 million), therefore, may be included in your UK holiday home insurance.

It is also in the very nature of a holiday home in the UK that there are likely to be times – potentially for extended periods – when the property sits vacant and unoccupied. These are the times when your second home is probably at its most vulnerable. Otherwise routine maintenance jobs might go unnoticed when there is no one there and a minor problem may develop into a major disaster. And when your property is empty, of course, the threat increases of unwanted attention from burglars, squatters, vandals, other intruders and even arsonists.

For that reason, you might want to make sure that your UK holiday home insurance incorporates sufficient unoccupied property insurance to continue the appropriate level of protection for your second home even when no one is living there.

Further reading: Guide to UK holiday homes