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The Most Common Home Insurance Issues People Have with Holiday Homes Abroad

If you own a holiday home abroad, these are the common issues you'll want to avoid by ensuring you have the right home insurance policy.

For many, owning a holiday home abroad is a lifelong dream which, when realised, will lead to many years of happy holidays with friends and family. So, whether your dream home is a chalet in a ski resort, an apartment by the sea or a luxury villa, there are some basic issues you’ll need to address to avoid costly claims on your insurance policy.

You will need a specific holiday home insurance policy, which we’d recommend you take out with a UK-based insurance broker. Although you can take out a policy with a local broker overseas, the paperwork is unlikely to be in English and, if you need to make a claim, you could come across significant language barrier problems.

You may be able to add the property to your existing UK home insurance policy, but this will depend on the exact terms and conditions of your existing policy. Check with your broker. We would advise that you opt for all risks cover and you’ll need to let your insurer know if you are going to rent out the property. You may need public liability cover to insure against guests making a claim against you while staying in your property.

The Most Common Home Insurance Issues People Have with Holiday Homes Abroad

1. Leaving the Property Unattended

This is probably the number one problem holiday homeowners face. If your property is not used for months at a time, either by you or by rental guests, it is vital you get someone in to inspect it regularly. Insurers get nervous about properties that are left unattended for long periods of time as they are more vulnerable to break ins, squatters and undetected water leaks. Whether you choose to use a property agent or a neighbour, make sure your property is visited regularly and checked thoroughly for signs of leaks, damage or attempted forced entry, with additional checks following extreme weather ie strong winds/rain/snow. Check how long your policy allows your property to be left unattended for.

2. Water Leaks

Water leaks are a huge problem for holiday homeowners, for the very reason above, that there’s no one at the property to see it happen and stop it. Did you know you can now buy a system that attaches to your water pipes and alerts you (or your key holder) when there is a drop in water pressure, caused by a leak? So much better to invest in a prevention system now, rather than to arrive at your holiday home to discover water has been leaking for months and rendered your home uninhabitable and with you facing an astronomical insurance claim.

3. Freezing Pipes

This is of course only relevant to properties in the colder climes, but many insurance policies will insist that you leave the central heating on with the thermostat set at a very low temperature, but high enough to prevent damage from snow and ice. Check your insurance policy to see if this applies to you. Also consider installing a system that allows you to control the heating remotely.

4. Damage by Rental Guests

Many people offset the cost of their holiday home by renting it out when they aren’t using it. Sadly, guests don’t always look after your property the way you would, and damage caused by rental guests isn’t uncommon. Make sure you have appropriate contents insurance that covers damage made to your property by guests. You may also want to take out public liability cover, to protect yourself from claims made by guests, injured whilst staying at your property

How to Find the Right Holiday Home Insurance Policy

55/Redefined's Insurance partner, Partners&, have a Private Client team of personal insurance professionals who will take the time to talk to you on the phone, to ask detailed questions and really understand your property. They’ll search the marketplace for the most appropriate options for you and present you with a short list, guiding you through them, pointing out the key points, making sure you understand every part of it and if you ever need our help to make a claim, their in-house team of professional claims advisers are here to help.

Partners& challenge the status quo by delivering insurance advice that makes a difference. Combining technical knowledge with service and intelligent use of technology, they offer clients the confidence and peace of mind that you are protected with tailored recommendations that are right for you.

Get peace of mind and be confident that you are fully protected

Speak to an Adviser directly at Partners& Insurance