If you're about to take the plunge and invest in your own place in the sun, home insurance probably isn't top of your list of priorities - more likely you'll be dreaming about lazy days, sandy beaches and sangria! But you've made a valuable investment, so it's also worth making a quick phone call to ensure you're properly protected - especially if you plan on letting your home to holidaymakers.
We posed some frequently asked questions to our partners at Intasure, who specialise in insuring second homes in the UK and overseas.
I own a holiday home overseas - what type of insurance do I need?
Insurance for an overseas property is not so different from here in the UK - you'll want to make sure you've got suitable buildings and contents insurance. Communal insurance - e.g. for apartments in a block - could be misleading, and will typically only cover the common parts of the blocks - not what's actually inside your own home.
Could you give some ballpark figures for the cost of annual insurance for some typical holiday homes?
Here are some approximate prices with and without accidental damage cover (these do change so please re-confirm for the most up-to-date quote):
Three-bed villa with pool in the Costa Blanca in Spain with £10,000 contents and full accidental damage (a/d) cover:
£322.47 without accidental damage
£351.72 with accidental damage
- Three-bed villa (shared pool) in Fethiye in Turkey, with £10,000 contents and full accidental damage cover
£318.56 without accidental damage
£347.92 with accidental damage
- Three-bed townhouse in the Algarve, Portugal, with £10,000 contents and full accidental damage cover:
£256.94 without accidental damage
£279.63 with accidental damage
- Two-bed ski apartment in the French Alps with £5,000 contents and full accidental damage cover:
£192.58 without accidental damage
£208.84 with accidental damage
What features of my holiday home will cause my insurance premium to be higher?
For example, Intasure provide blanket cover of up to £/€1million on the buildings, but the premium is calculated on the type of property you have, and also the number of bedrooms. Do you have a private pool/hot tub, non-habitable outbuildings, or a conservatory? These types of features will all have an impact on the premium - so unsurprisingly, a four-bedroom villa with a pool will cost more than a studio apartment!
I'm planning to let my holiday home, what else do I need to consider?
This is an important one! Check and make sure the policy provides adequate public liability cover. This will provide cover should someone suffer an injury at your property. It's unlikely, but someone could try and sue you if they have an accident! Policies bought locally might appear cheaper, but foreign insurers do not necessarily provide the same level of cover as those in the UK - in Spain cover is typically up to £200K, whereas Intasure provides £/€5million. Accidental damage by tenants, loss of hiring charges and emergency travel costs in case your property is damaged and you need to get there. Intasure include public liability insurance, loss of rent following a claim, emergency travel and accommodation as standard too.
Will my premium and insurance requirements be different if I let on a long-term basis?
Yes, there is a small extra charge for letting out a foreign property long term and it carries a special endorsement. However, if your property is in the UK and you let it out on a shorthold tenancy agreement you can take advantage of our landlord insurance.
When it comes to choosing an insurer, are there any differences between using a UK-based company, and one local to your overseas home?
Yes the language is one - using a UK company you can be sure you'll be dealing with English speakers. And the public liability limit is generally lower with local insurers, as mentioned previously. Also, with UK companies, payment can be made in Sterling by direct debit, all your documents are in English, and for certain countries an additional schedule is produced in the local language. Really it's a question of peace of mind and being able to discuss any aspect of the cover in your own language.