1 Choose a specialist holiday/ second home policy
A standard home policy won't cater for the specialist requirements that come with a holiday home, such as periods when the property is unoccupied or rented out.
2 Don't forget your holiday home contents
Buildings insurance will cover you against damage to your permanent fixtures and fittings,but other items such as appliances, bikes and furniture, will need insuring. The value of these should be calculated on a 'new for old' basis.
3 Check the policy provides adequate public liability cover
This will provide cover should someone suffer an injury at your property. Foreign insurers do not necessarily provide the same level of cover as those in the UK – in Spain cover is typically up to £200K. Remember you could be sued back in UK for an injury that occurred.
4 Subsidence cover isn't available in all European areas and there may be some restrictions
Similarly, earthquake cover is available in most areas but not in Italy or Greece.
5 Damage caused by electrical power surges can be common in some European countries and cause extensive damage
It's important to check this is covered under your policy.
6 If you plan to let your holiday home, either to family and friends or commercially, you should also consider cover for:
Accidental damage by tenants, loss of hiring charges and emergency travel costs in case your property is damaged and you need to get there.
7 Make sure you are adequately insured
The sum you insure your property for is based on how much it would cost to rebuild the property (including outbuildings, pools, drives and patios) and not its current market value. And make sure the sum insured is index linked – so updated yearly.
8 Foreign taxes are applicable to many insurance policies
So check that the correct taxes will be paid by your insurer. UK insurers can automatically do this for you.
9 Help when you need it most
Consider how you would find and deal with local tradesmen in the event of a break-in or damage to your property caused by storm or flood. Some insurers will provide access to a 24-hour helpline with English-speaking staff who can provide a translation service or speak to tradesmen on your behalf.
10 Using a UK insurer instead of one local to where your property is usually has benefits
Your policy will be written in English and you'll deal with English-speaking advisers. Also, UK policies will typically include higher liability limits, an emergency helpline, emergency travel to the property and cover whilst the property is let.
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