The Fixer: holiday home insurance

Will a standard insurance policy cover a holiday home?

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Dear Fixer,

We have just had an offer accepted on a holiday home in Wales. It is a lovely little cottage that we plan to let out in the summer and use ourselves when we can throughout the rest of the year.

I am just costing it all up to make sure we can definitely afford it and am a bit confused about what home insurance we will need.

Will a standard insurance policy be sufficient if we rent it out to holidaymakers? Thank you for your help.

H Powell, Cheltenham

Dear Mr Powell,

Many insurers refuse to cover second homes under standard terms due to extra risks such as it being let out to short-term tenants or burgled while it is empty.

To be fully protected, you are therefore likely to need a specialist second home policy instead.

Policies of this kind generally offer cover against all the same risks as a standard policy, as well as when the home is unoccupied or rented out.

A range of insurers, including Endsleigh and Direct Line, offer second home policies. But the level of cover available varies widely, so it is important to shop around for one that suits your needs.

Your buildings insurance policy, for example, should cover the full cost of rebuilding your home, while your contents policy should protect all your belongings, including any valuable items (although it is a good idea to keep these to a minimum in a property you plan to use as a holiday let).

It's also sensible to take out accidental damage cover, and public liability insurance to protect you in the event of death or injury on your property.

Finally, remember that your holiday home must comply with health and safety laws to avoid your policy becoming invalid.

The Fixer

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