How is insuring a holiday home different from insuring my permanent home?

One key difference is that your holiday property may be unoccupied for long periods of time, so the risk of theft or damage increases. Plus, if you lend or let your second home out, this may further limit your insurance options and potentially a landlord policy might be more appropriate. 

Taking home insurance on a second property isn’t just a case of taking a second policy – for example, many homes aren't covered by a standard home insurance policy if they’re unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days.

What’s covered by holiday home insurance?

Buildings and contents insurance for a holiday home will typically cover the same risks as a standard home insurance policy.
Cover can vary between providers. However, some specialist holiday home and holiday let policies could include:

  • cover for friends and family as well as paying guests
  • cover for holiday homes that are empty for more than 30 consecutive days
  • public liability cover if you let out your holiday home to paying guests
  • cover for overseas holiday homes
  • cover for temporary loss of accommodation, including loss of hiring charges

Frequently asked questions

Do I need buildings insurance for a holiday home?

If your holiday home is mortgaged, you’ll probably need to have buildings insurance to keep your mortgage provider happy. But even if you own it yourself, you might want this type of cover in case of fire or other incidents.

Make sure the value of the policy is enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your holiday home. When calculating the rebuild cost, remember to include any outdoor features such as outbuildings, swimming pools, tennis courts or hot tubs. We can help you work out rebuild costs accurately when you start comparing.

Do I need contents insurance for a holiday home?

If you leave furniture, utensils, TVs or prints on the wall, you should probably have contents insurance too. Think about how much it would cost to replace all the items in each room, including carpets, curtains and kitchen items. We've got a useful calculator to help you work this out accurately.

Because holiday homes are generally empty more often than normal homes, they could be more likely to be broken into. Some insurance providers will insist you have adequate security measures in place before they’ll agree to cover the contents in your holiday home. Consider installing a burglar alarm or other security precautions that may help with getting contents insurance.

What add-ons might I need?

Your holiday home may be at risk of storm damage to the roof, break-ins and burglaries, or accidental damage. Standard policies will usually cover you against theft or break-ins, but you might have to add accidental damage cover as an optional extra.

Add other extras, as you would with a normal home insurance quote. You might choose home emergency cover, which gives you a number to call if you urgently need a plumber or other expert.

You could also add legal assistance cover – this protects you against the costs of being sued or having to make a claim against someone else under a range of circumstances.

What won’t holiday home insurance cover?

Exclusions will depend on the insurance policy you choose, so it’s important to read the terms and conditions before buying holiday home insurance. Some policies won’t cover:

  • holiday homes unoccupied for more than 90 consecutive days
  • holiday homes let for hen and stag parties
  • holiday homes that are let for an extended period
  • holiday homes with more than a certain number of bedrooms – in this case, you might need non-standard home insurance.

What if I rent out my holiday home?

Holiday let insurance is a specialist form of cover for anyone who rents out their holiday home. A holiday let insurance policy should protect you against accidental damage and offer public liability cover, so that you have peace of mind when welcoming paying guests.

If you let out a property as a holiday home, typical home insurance might not be appropriate – perhaps the property is unoccupied for long periods or the homeowner doesn’t live at the property. That’s why you need holiday let insurance, which is designed to protect you, your property and any holidaymakers who rent it out in the event of any accidents or damage.

While you can’t compare holiday let insurance with us, there are insurance providers that offer it.

Can I get holiday let insurance for properties overseas?

While you can’t compare holiday home insurance for properties abroad with us, there are companies that offer it. 
You can choose a local company or a UK company specialising in international 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. And don’t look at price alone – check out the features of the policy to make sure it’s right for you.

How can I save money on my holiday home insurance premium?

As with standard home insurance, there are ways to help reduce the cost of your holiday home premium.

  • Pay annually – it can often work out cheaper to pay your premium in one lump sum.
  • Combine your buildings and contents – some providers might offer a discount if you buy buildings and contents insurance together.
  • Improve your holiday home security – features such as an alarm system, strong door and window locks and security lighting could help you get cheaper insurance.
  • Keep up with maintenance and repairs – keeping your holiday home in good condition will help reduce the risk of having to make a claim.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get an insurance quote for your holiday home, we’ll need a few details including:

  • whether you want buildings insurance, content cover or both
  • any add-ons you might want
  • details about your holiday home
  • the rebuild value of your holiday home (we’ll help you with this). 

Once we have the information we need, we’ll be able to send you a list of quotes to compare.

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**Correct as of November 2020. 
***On average, it can take less than 12 minutes to complete a home insurance quote through Compare the Market based on data in November 2020.
****For the period 1st September 2020 to 30th November 2020, 1,785 people responded to the question “When completing a quote using CtM, how did you find it?” 1,717 responded with ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ (96.2%).

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Chris King

Home insurance expert

What our expert says

“Flooding is a serious problem across the country, especially in coastal areas. If you have a waterside holiday home, make sure you have the right level of cover for both your buildings and contents if it’s at risk of damage. Also be mindful if you’re considering having any paying guests or friends staying in your holiday home. If things are damaged or go missing while you’re not there but your guests are, it could land you in a sticky situation with your insurance provider should you want to make a claim.”

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