Second home insurance

Are you among the 495,000 British adults with a second home in the UK? Whether you let it occasionally, rent it out or leave it unoccupied, you’ll want to consider second home insurance. Here’s what you need to know and how to get the cover that’s right for you.

Are you among the 495,000 British adults with a second home in the UK? Whether you let it occasionally, rent it out or leave it unoccupied, you’ll want to consider second home insurance. Here’s what you need to know and how to get the cover that’s right for you.

Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
minute read
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Last Updated 16 MARCH 2022

Why is second home insurance different from regular home insurance?

It’s because, very often, you’ll treat your second home differently to your full-time residence. For example, you might:

  • Leave your second home unoccupied for long periods.
  • Let or lend out your property as a holiday home.
  • Rent out your second home long-term.

Doing any of these things may break the terms of a standard home insurance policy, meaning that you won’t be covered. 

Many people take out a home insurance policy on their second home without telling their insurance provider that the property isn’t their main residence. This can be a real problem because of the terms and conditions on home insurance policies. In some cases, it means you can’t claim on the policy. This could leave you having to meet the costs of repairs if your home is damaged or replacing your possessions if they’re stolen. 

Is second home insurance more expensive?

The cost of second home insurance varies. It’s based on factors that include how you and your family use your second home, how regularly the home is used and the level of cover you need.

It may cost more than the price of the insurance on the home you reside in, but this depends on your circumstances. For example, there could be more risk of you needing to claim on a second home because you’re not there all the time. But you could have fewer belongings there – including expensive items – so you might need less cover, which could result in a cheaper premium.

Home insurance for second homes left unoccupied

Many standard home insurance policies don’t cover homes that are unoccupied for more than 30 days – although some providers offer periods longer than this. This is because there’s likely to be a higher risk of theft or of damage going unseen if a property is empty. For example, if a pipe bursts and no one is living in the home, there’ll be no one to notice the water leak. And the longer it’s left, the more damage it can cause.

When getting a quote through Compare the Market, you can state that your property will be left unoccupied for periods longer than 30 days and we’ll show you providers willing to offer you a quote.

Find out more about unoccupied property insurance

Second home insurance for holiday homes

If you let out your second home as a holiday home, even for brief periods, you need to tell your insurance provider when you’re looking for second home insurance. This is because people who stay in someone else’s property may not be as careful as they are in their own homes, potentially resulting in damage to the property.

You could also be held responsible if a holidaymaker in your second home has an accident because of bad maintenance or something else considered to be your fault. You might want your second home insurance to cover you for damage or injury to another person or their property, and any associated damages and legal costs. This is called public liability insurance.

There are some eventualities that are often excluded from second home insurance for holiday homes, so make sure you’re aware of what they are. Cash taken from the property or, in some cases, things stolen that weren’t locked away won’t be covered. Accidental damage might not be included either, which is something you’re probably going to want if strangers are staying in your second home. You may be able to pay extra for this, if you want the extra protection.

While you can’t compare insurance for holiday lets with us, there are companies that offer it.

Second home insurance for rental properties

If you need insurance for second homes you’re renting out, you’ll need to tell the insurance provider that you’re a landlord. Landlord insurance is designed to cover you for the specific issues landlords face. It might include public liability insurance, alternative accommodation insurance and accidental damage insurance. You can also get cover if your tenant is unable to pay their rent or needs to move into alternative accommodation. This can be a valuable protection to have, because if rental payments do stop for some reason you could be left seriously out of pocket.

Find out more about landlord insurance

What type of second home insurance should I get?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. It’s important to tell your insurance provider that the property isn’t your main home, then you can choose the policy options that suit your situation.

There are two types of home insurance: buildings insurance and contents insurance.

Buildings insurance policies for second homes can be tailored to your specific needs – such as covering your unoccupied property. It covers the structure of the building from fires, floods or any other damage.

Second home contents insurance covers the contents of the home, such as furniture and appliances, so it’s a good idea for furnished properties.

And there are optional extras too, such as:

When you compare with us, you can specify that you’re looking for second home insurance or that you’re a landlord – and we’ll get you the quotes you need.

Second home insurance for overseas properties

Although you can’t compare second home insurance for overseas properties with us, you’ll find there are insurance providers that offer it.

You can choose a company in the country where your second home is situated or a UK company specialising in overseas properties. If you aren’t fluent in the local language, it’s very important to choose a company that provides the policy documents in English and offers an English-speaking call centre if you need to make a claim. If you’re unsure, it’s worth asking other people in your situation what they recommend, and if you have any questions you can always call up a specialist insurance provider to find out more information.

Did you know?

There are around 299,000 UK residents with second homes in Europe and 79,000 elsewhere in the world.

How to get the best deal on second home insurance

It’s easy to find second home insurance that suits you and won’t break the bank. Tell us a bit about yourself, your home and the level of cover you’ll need. We’ll show you a list of competitive quotes to choose from. It’s then down to you to compare policies and prices. As second home insurance works differently to the cover for your main home, it’s even more important to find the right kind of policy for your needs.

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