A Guide to Insurance for Second Homeowners – Make sure you’re properly covered.

What you need to know about insuring your second home

Do you own or are you considering purchasing a second property? 

Whether you are using your second home for personal use or marketing to paying guests, it is essential to understand what insurance is required for this type of property. From comprehensive policies that offer protection against many standard risks; such as fire, and flooding to specific forms of cover if the property is unoccupied; there is much to consider when insuring a second home. 

Here we discuss the various factors you should keep in mind to ensure your second home is adequately covered. 

Read on for more information about second home insurance.

What is required for insurance when you own a second property 

Second home insurance protects your investment property, whether it is an additional home for you and your family, or you have purchased the property to receive an income for paying guests as a holiday home. Typically, a standard home insurance policy won’t cover your second property. Second home insurance typically covers damage to the property, liability protection, and loss of rental income if guests cannot stay there due to insured damages.

When speaking with clients at Riskworks, we ensure we understand how the second property is being used and then advise our clients on policies to align the cover that best suits their needs.  

It’s better to be safe than sorry when protecting your investment.

Considerations for Personal Use V Holiday letting

Whether you want a holiday home to escape to for you or your family and friends or an investment property to let out, it’s essential to consider the differences between personal use and holiday letting. One key factor to keep in mind is insurance. If you plan on using the property exclusively for personal use, you’ll need to investigate second home insurance, which typically covers theft, damage, and liability. However, if you plan to rent out the property, you’ll need insurance for your second property that covers rental use too. This will often include liability cover that extends if the guests have an accident or injury whilst staying in the property.  

When purchasing insurance, what covers do I need to consider as a second homeowner? 

Firstly, this is where we can help, but some of the standard cover elements are:-

Buildings insurance: This will likely be needed as evidence for your mortgage company

Contents insurance: As with your primary residence, it is essential to list and value content items that will be kept in the property 

Accidental damage: This could be useful if you let out your property to paying guests. This will provide additional cover for any damages or breakages 

Loss of income: If you rent out your second home, loss of income cover will protect you if you have to cancel any bookings due to insured damages to the property 

Public liability insurance: This covers any legal costs if someone was to suffer an injury, accident, or death while on your property

Employers’ liability insurance: If you use the second home as a holiday let, you may employ a cleaner, gardener, or handyman to help service the property. This cover safeguards you if they suffer an injury, slip, or trip while working on your property. 

These are just some of the covers that can be included within your policy. Working with an insurance broker like Riskworks, we help assess these elements of cover for your circumstances. 

What if my second home is located overseas? 

We can arrange insurance for properties in most European countries. There are some limitations in certain foreign countries, and cover elements may vary or be restricted, but we can work with insurers to understand any of these restrictions and explain these to you – don’t panic, you don’t need to be fluent in foreign languages to understand the policy documents!

What if I let my property out to guests via platforms like Airbnb?

There has been a significant rise in homeowners renting out a spare room or entire property on these types of platforms. If you are doing this or considering letting out your second property, you must check with your current insurer or speak with us, as a standard home insurance policy are unlikely to cover you for this type of letting.  

Some of these platforms offer a level of cover for guest damages etc. Still, they are not ‘insurance contracts,’ so checking what is provided alongside second home insurance is essential. 

How to find the best cover for your circumstances 

If you’re lucky enough to own a second home, it can be a daunting task navigating your way to the most appropriate policy and cover but as an insurance specialist, we can guide you through the process. 

First and foremost, we will ensure you look for insurance cover specifically designed for second homes that protect the unique risks of owning a second home.   

We work with a small panel of UK insurers so we can view and compare quotes to ensure that not only are you getting the right cover, but you are getting it at the right price. The claims service from these insurers is fast and responsive, so we can ensure the property is restored and repaired quickly to avoid any periods where the property has to remain unoccupied. 

Final Thoughts…

As we have said, there are many considerations when insuring your second property, and ensuring such a significant investment is insured adequately is essential. 

If you are considering purchasing a second property or want to evaluate the insurance cover you currently have on a second property, please contact Emma Patrick, Private Client Manager at Riskworks, a local broker providing insurance solutions for the Cheshire area – who would be happy to discuss your specific needs.