SECOND HOME INSURANCE: Coverages and Quotes In The UK

second home insurance

Are you one of the 10% of British adults who own a second home? Whether you let it out periodically, rent it out, or leave it vacant, you’ll need to think about second home insurance in the UK. Here’s what you need to know and how to find the appropriate cover for you.

What is Second Home Insurance?

A second home insurance policy covers a property that is not your primary residence. If you own a second home, you understand that you simply cannot be present to protect your property all of the time, leaving your residence vulnerable to threats.

What distinguishes a house as a second home?

It can be difficult to determine which property is your primary residence. Consider where you keep the majority of your stuff and where you spend the majority of your time before making your decision.

For example, if one location is primarily used for legal purposes, is where your car is registered, and is what you believe to be the family home, your insurer will use this distinction to provide cover for your primary house. Anything else, including vacation homes and weekday/weekend residences, would be considered a second home.

How long can you leave a second home unoccupied?

Second homes that are left uninhabited for extended periods of time are more likely to sustain major damage that goes unnoticed, such as water escape, storms, or break-ins.

As a result, your insurance provider may change the conditions of your coverage while your second home is empty. Check your second home insurance UK policy for any unoccupancy limitations, such as the need to turn off the water, drain any water tanks, pipes, and apparatus, or maintain a minimum temperature of 15°C at all times. You may also be required to inspect the property on a regular basis.

What is the purpose of having Second Home Insurance in the UK?

Getting adequate insurance for your second house is equally important as getting coverage for your first dwelling. A “regular” or “standard” home insurance policy isn’t typically appropriate for a property that isn’t your primary residence or family home. In the event of a claim, this could put you in a bind.

Because you may not always be there or other people may be renting the house from you, you need a policy that is tailored to the way you use your second property.

What Distinguishes Second Home Insurance from Normal House Insurance?

Many people purchase insurance for a second home without informing the insurance company that the property is not their primary residence. Because of the terms and circumstances of home insurance plans, this can be a serious issue.

You’ll frequently want to do things with your second home that you wouldn’t do with your first residence. For example, you could:

  • Leave your second home empty for extended periods of time
  • Rent out or lend out your house as a vacation home.
  • Long-term rental of your second home

Doing any of these things may violate the conditions of a standard home insurance policy in the UK, which means you won’t be covered if something goes wrong.

The coverage you require for your second home will be determined by what you want to do with it. Let’s take a closer look.

Is Second Home Insurance More Expensive?

The cost of second home insurance varies depending on factors such as how you and your family use your second home, how frequently you use the home, and the kind of coverage you require.

What Kind of Second Home Insurance Do I Require?

The sort of insurance you require for your second house is determined by how you intend to use it. Because your second home may be kept empty for extended periods of time or rented out to others, the risks differ from those of regular home insurance.

#1. Second home insurance for holiday homes 

A typical motivation for purchasing a second home is to have somewhere to use as a vacation home and possibly rent out to other vacationers.

Check that your vacation house insurance will cover your second home for any extended periods when it is uninhabited.

If you rent it out to others, be sure you have a policy that allows it, or your insurance may be invalidated.

You should also consider whether you require policy add-ons such as legal expenses insurance or public liability insurance to cover you for any claims your visitors may bring against you for damage or loss while staying in your second home.

#2. Second-home insurance for rental properties

You’ll need landlord insurance if you own a second home that you rent out on an assured tenancy.

Landlord insurance is designed to address the unique risks associated with renting out your second house to tenants. It will cover theft, fire, and weather damage to the structure of your rental property, as well as any belongings you own and leave at the property, such as furniture.

You can supplement your policy with optional extras like rent loss and legal expenses to ensure you have adequate coverage.

#3. Home insurance for unoccupied second homes

If your second home is left empty for an extended period of time, it is vulnerable to theft, vandalism, water leaks and burst pipes, and fires.

Standard plans in the UK, whether for home insurance, vacation homes, or rented properties, will specify the maximum amount of time a property can be left empty. It might be as short as 30 days.

If you need to leave your second house empty for an extended period of time, you may require unoccupied property insurance to cover it while you’re away.

Insurance coverage for second homes typically covers the same kinds of things as house insurance does.

#4. Second-home insurance for overseas properties

You can work with a local company or a UK firm that specialises in overseas properties. If you are not fluent in the local language, it is critical that you select a business that provides policy paperwork in English and has an English-speaking call centre if you need to make a claim.

What Does a Second Home Insurance Policy Cover in the UK?

Regardless of whether you’ve chosen a landlord, vacation home, or unoccupied property policy for your second home, you’ll have three basic types of coverage to pick from.

#1. Buildings-only insurance

Covers your property’s structure as well as its fixtures and fittings. You should select a level of coverage that will allow you to totally rebuild your home if it is damaged.

#2. Contents Only Insurance

Insurance for any belongings you keep on the premises. Furniture, electronics, and jewellery are just a few examples. If you rent out your second home unfurnished, you may not require this coverage.

#3. Policy Combination

This policy protects both your second home and its belongings. If you require both, it may be less expensive than purchasing buildings and contents insurance separately.

Extras Available with Second Home Insurance

Depending on the type of policy you have, you can normally add optional extras to your second home policy in addition to your basic buildings or contents coverage.

For example, with a rental vacation house or a landlord insurance policy, you may be able to include:

  • Accidental damage coverage provides coverage for catastrophes such as poking a hole in a pipe or pouring red wine on the couch.
  • Home emergency service: provides immediate assistance with boiler, pipe, and electrical problems.
  • Legal expenses are the cost of defending allegations made against you by others or taking someone else to court.
  • Loss of keys: this covers the cost of a locksmith to get you back in, as well as the replacement of locks and a new set of keys if yours are lost or stolen.
  • Rent loss cover compensates you for the income you lose if your renters fail to pay their rent.
  • Employers liability cover: This is required if you hire someone in connection with your second home, such as a cleaner or gardener. It will cover claims filed against you for injuries and damages sustained by employees while working for you.

Even if you don’t rent out your second home on a short- or long-term basis, you might want to think about items like unintentional damage coverage.

How to Find the Best Second Home Insurance

When looking for the best second home insurance for you, consider the following:

  • How long will your property be vacant?
  • What types of second home insurance cover your demands, such as buildings and possessions insurance?
  • Whether you require additional protection, such as if you rent out your house.

Check with your current home insurance company to determine whether your policy may be extended to include your second home. If not, use this second home insurance comparison to locate a separate policy for your second home.

If you rent out your second house to tenants, you should consider purchasing landlord insurance.

How Much Does Second Home Insurance Cost?

Several factors affect the cost of insuring your second home. Such as the level of cover required, the type of property (listed or non-standard construction), the location (flood risk), the security measures installed, your claims history, and the excess.

The premium for structure insurance is based on the rebuild value, while the premium for contents insurance is based on the cost of replacing your items. There may also be an additional charge to buy further cover, such as accidental damage and legal fees insurance.

What information do I need to obtain an insurance quote for my second house?

  • To be insured, you must know the rebuild cost of your second home, not the market value of your primary home, as well as the value of your goods.
  • You’ll also need information about the property’s kind, the number of bedrooms, the year it was built, how it’s heated, and a few structural features, such as what the outside walls are made of, the sort of roof, and how much flat roof space it has.
  • Any claims you’ve made in the last five years, as well as whether the property has ever been flooded or moved due to subsidence, heave, or landslide.
  • What kind of window and door locks do you have, as well as whether or not you have a burglar alarm?

Things to Think About When Buying an Unoccupied Home

It is a requirement of your policy that you keep the heater on at a minimum of 15 degrees, that all doors and windows are securely locked, that any alarms are turned on, and that any keys left in the property are kept out of sight.

In terms of general security, a vacant property is regarded as more vulnerable to break-ins and squatters, as well as damage caused by water escape, etc. This is why you should inspect your second home as frequently as possible.

Second Home Insurance FAQs

Can you have 2 house insurance policies?

If you’re purchasing a new home, you can have two home insurance policies active at the same time — one for the old and one for the new. If you’ve chosen to transfer to a new insurance provider for your new home, you must terminate your current policy.

Can you get home insurance for a second home?

Second-home insurance protects a dwelling that is not your primary abode. Typically, a home is used as a weekend resort by you, your friends, and your family, or rented out to paying vacationers.

Can a second home be considered a primary residence?

A second home cannot be a primary residence since their requirements are in direct conflict. A primary home is where you spend the bulk of your time, whereas a second home is where you spend a smaller amount of your time.

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A second home cannot be a primary residence since their requirements are in direct conflict. A primary home is where you spend the bulk of your time, whereas a second home is where you spend a smaller amount of your time.

" } } ] }
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