Owning a second home is a great way of having a place to go when you need a break. Whether your second home is in the UK, or somewhere abroad, you need to have an appropriate level of second home insurance to cover your circumstances.
If you visit regularly you’ll need cover which allows short breaks in occupancy. Generally, most policies count 30 days as an extended period and our expert teams will be able to confirm this when you obtain a quote.
In some cases, it could be cheaper to add second home insurance onto your existing home insurance policy. We’ll check this for you when finding your quotes, and let you know which will be cheaper option for you.
One of the top reasons for needing second home insurance is simply because a regular home insurance policy will not normally cover the second home.
Because the property is unoccupied for longer periods of time are higher risks of needing a pay-out, which shows how vital it is to receive expert advice.
For instance, second homes are typically left uninhabited for the majority of the year because they are mainly for holiday purposes. Leaving your property unoccupied for 30 days or more makes your home attractive for thieves and this can put your belongings at risk.
Since the house is not being inspected regularly, any damages to the building can be exacerbated because they have not been looked at sooner. This includes damages such as fires, floods, earthquakes, frozen pipes or burst water mains. Second homes can be located in the mountains or coastline so you can never be sure whether a fire or flood can occur. Without insurance, you would be expected to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket and this could cost huge amounts.
There is also the fact that if you rent out your second home to tenants or other holidaymakers, they usually don’t look after it in the same way as you do and this can cause damage to your goods such as your TV, furniture, barbecue or garden. If you’re renting out your property to tenants it would also be worth looking into landlord insurance.
This offers protection if any damages or injuries are caused to other members of the public as a result of your property. For instance, if a water pipe bursts and leaks into your neighbour’s house, you will be able to provide them with compensation.
In the event of an emergency, such as a medical emergency, you may need to pay extra for a doctor to visit your property because you are based in a remote location. Having emergency cover will allow you to claim this back.
If you are renting out your 2nd home to holidaymakers but a malfunction causes your home to be unlivable, you can pay for alternative accommodation for the guests and claim this from you insurance.
This policy gives cover to your personal items that you can take out of the property with you such as your mobile phone or iPad, although this may be covered by your travel insurance.
As a customer, you have the choice to select as many of these policies as you want or you can choose to include all in one ‘combined policy.’ When speaking to one of our staff over the phone, we will give you all the options available through Call Wiser and find the best policy to suit your needs.
This is the most common insurance for second homes. This protects the building and physical parts of the house such as walls and roofs from damages caused by fire, floods and other disasters. So if you have Second Home Buildings Insurance, you will be able to make claims to repair and rebuild your property.
If you have a mortgage on your second home, having buildings insurance is a compulsory requirement from mortgage lenders. This is because repairs can be so expensive and if you don’t have insurance, the costs will be so great that it could cause you to fall behind on your mortgage repayments.
The amount of your buildings insurance policy should be exactly enough to rebuild your home. Policymakers will try to calculate the rebuild value of your property and they may require a chartered surveyor to verify. If costing out the building proves difficult, you can always purchase unlimited cover.
Contents insurance for a second home is not a legal requirement but it is useful in case any of your belongings are stolen or damaged by people that rent your property. Of course, you are recommended to never leave expensive items in your house or on display for a long period of time such as your laptop or jewellery. But is it not uncommon for a TV to be stolen if your house remains unused for months on end.
Most insurers allow you to insure up to £15,000 worth of personal items, however some of these items may be covered by your travel insurance anyway, so it is always worth checking.
We’ve put together a guide to helping secure your second home from thieves which you can read by clicking here.