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Second home insurance

Second home insurance

Are you among the 10% of British adults with a second home? Whether you let it occasionally, rent it out or leave it unoccupied, you’ll need to consider second home insurance. Here’s what you need to know and how to get the cover that’s right for you.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 22 JULY 2020

Why is second home insurance different to regular home insurance?

Many people take out a home insurance policy on their second home without telling the 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.

Very often, you’ll want to do things with your second home that you wouldn’t with 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 might break the terms of an ordinary home insurance policy, meaning that you wouldn’t be covered if something happened.

The cover you need for your second home will depend on what you plan to do with it. Let’s take a look.

Is second home insurance more expensive?

The cost of second home insurance varies, 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. On average, an annual policy for your second home could cost:

  • Holiday home £265.30**
  • Unoccupied property £204.19**
  • Occupied only at the weekend £223.06**
  • Occupied only on weekdays £146.78**

**The prices above are based on an average across all cover types – buildings only, contents only, and building and contents combined – for home insurance quotes made through Compare the Market from 1 March 2020 until 1 June 2020. They do not include second properties that are let out or rented. 

Home insurance for second homes left unoccupied

Many home insurance policies don’t cover homes that are unoccupied for more than 30 days. This is because there’s likely to be a higher risk of theft or of damage going unseen.

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 while 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.

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.

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 you 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 is a good idea for all properties, even if you don't have a mortgage, and policies for second homes can be tailored to your specific needs – such as covering your unoccupied property.

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 use our comparison tool, 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. You can’t compare holiday let insurance with us, but there are insurance providers that offer it.

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 local company 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.

How to get the best deal on second home insurance

It’s easy to find second home insurance that suits you. 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. 

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