Compare holiday home insurance
Our holiday home insurance is for UK-based homeowners, and gives you comprehensive buildings and contents protection
Why do I need holiday home insurance?
Insurers don’t cover holiday homes as standard because they are considered too risky. If a home is left empty for long periods, for example, there is a greater chance of a burst pipe or a water leak. Theft is also more likely if a house is unoccupied. And if a home is let, tenants do not always take as much care of the property as the owners.
Buildings insurance covers the structure of the property, such as the roof, as well as permanent fixtures and fittings, such as baths and fitted kitchens, against a range of risks including fire, flood, storms and subsidence.
If you have a mortgage on your second home, the lender will insist that you have appropriate buildings insurance in place. But even if you own the home outright, it would be unwise to ignore buildings insurance. After all, could you afford to rebuild the property if it were destroyed by a fire?
Holiday home insurance comparison tool
How to get the best holiday home insurance
If you have a second property you use for holidays, it needs different cover to your main home.
This is because it may be left empty for long periods which means it is more at risk from theft or damage. You also need specific cover if you rent the property out.
To find the best policy you need to think about:
- What do you need it to cover?
- Will you rent out your holiday home?
- How often will your holiday home be empty?
Should I buy contents insurance for my second home?
Contents insurance is not compulsory, but it is essential to protect your belongings. You might not keep anything particularly valuable in your holiday home, but it’s surprising how much it would cost to replace the contents. Try walking through each room and making an inventory of your possessions to calculate their worth. Don’t forget the bbq and any garden furniture. The inventory will also be a useful checklist if you let the property.
Try not to leave personal or valuable items in your holiday home if it is unoccupied or if you are letting it out. You are asking for trouble if expensive iPods and laptops are on display. Your insurer might impose a limit on the value of any one item, and even exclude some valuables if they are left in the house when it is let or empty.
Our guide to contents insurance explains how standard cover works – and highlights some of the main exclusions.
What’s covered with holiday home insurance?
As standard, buildings cover – it’ll sub you the cost of repairs or rebuilding (minus any excess) if your holiday house falls victim to a misfortune such as a fire, a serious storm, flood and/or subsidence. It’s also usually a lending requirement if you’ve got a mortgage for the property.
A top-spec holiday home insurance policy may include:
- Combined or separate buildings and contents cover. The latter isn’t a legal requirement, so you can take or leave it, but you’ll only be covered for the bricks and mortar if you don’t take it out
- Cover for emergency travel requirements
- Cover to reimburse local taxes
- 24-hour emergency helpline for when you’re really up a creek and need fast advice or assistance
- Emergency travel
- Personal possessions cover to protect your gear outside of the house
And, remember to tell your insurer about the locks – your premium will be different depending on what you have.
What’s excluded from holiday home insurance?
Your holiday home may not be covered if:
- It’s let for an extended period of time
- Guests steal from you
- It has solar panels
- It has boats, boards and watercraft within the home boundaries
Try not to leave personal or valuable items in your holiday home if it’s unoccupied or you’re planning on letting it out – you may not be covered if items are stolen or damaged accidentally.
Tips for cheaper holiday home insurance
Shop around for competitive quotes – but remember that the cheapest policy is not always the best.
Improve your holiday home security: Make sure the home is fitted with approved security devices, such as alarms and window locks.
Opt for higher excess: All policies include an excess, which is the amount you must pay towards any claim. If you are happy to pay a higher excess, you should be rewarded with a lower premium.
Keep your home in good condition: Maintain your home so that it does not fall into disrepair. Also insulate any pipes and tanks to prevent freezing in cold weather.
Choose one insurer: If you buy buildings and contents cover from the same insurer, it might be cheaper than separate policies from different firms.
Pay upfront: Some insurers allow you to pay your premium monthly to spread the cost. Monthly payments are convenient, but they usually work out more expensive. So try to pay up front if you can.
Do I need to have a holiday home insurance policy?
It is not a legal requirement, but if you have a mortgage your lender will insist you have buildings cover to protect their investment.
How long can I leave my holiday home empty?
It depends, but many insurers cover your property no matter how long it is empty for. This comparison shows the unoccupancy period each policy offers.
Can I insure my holiday home with a standard policy?
Not if it is left unoccupied for long periods, because most home insurance policies only cover an empty property for 30 or 60 days.
Can I cover different types of properties?
Yes, most holiday home policies can cover villas, chalets, apartments and static caravans in the UK or overseas.
What countries can I insure my holiday home in?
Holiday home insurers can cover most major European countries like France, Spain and Italy.
Who do we include in this comparison?
We include unsecured loans you can get in the UK from our panel. Like other comparison sites, we make money when you click through to a product or service, or go on to purchase it after visiting our site. If you use one of our broker services, we make commission after you buy a product, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra. Our comparisons are free for you to use and you get the same or a better deal than going direct.