Common holiday home insurance claims…and how they can be avoided  

Holiday homes can be risky to insure, but it doesn’t mean your premiums need to go through the roof. We’ve been digging through the data to identify the most common claims and what steps you can take to keep your property safe and secure (and your NCD intact):

Water Damage Escaped water is the single biggest cause of household insurance claims and payouts can be eye-wateringly high. Burst pipes are the most common culprit and can be avoided by ensuring that the water temperature doesn’t drop below freezing (keep the heating on low during the colder months and lag exposed pipes). As always prevention is better than cure and it pays to regularly check all pipework and plumbing. Make sure that guests and neighbours know the location of your stopcock in case of emergency.

Stormy Weather Britons are often accused of being obsessed with the weather, but as an island nation we get buffeted from every direction and it can take a serious toll on our property. Storm damage is surprisingly common and accounts for one in five home insurance claims. Holiday home owners can do little to safeguard against extreme weather, but they can make sure the property is well-maintained to reduce the risk of making a claim or having a claim rejected.

Flood Risks Climate change and pressure to increase the country’s housing stock (coupled with cuts to flood defences) mean that flooding is a problem that’s only going to get worse. While there’s nothing you can do to stop the rising waters, you can minimise damage by signing-up to the nationwide Flood Warning Service and by preparing an emergency flood plan.

Electrical Fires One in ten home insurance claims are sparked by electrical fires and the consequences can be catastrophic with average repairs costing £25,000. Most electrical fires are caused by faulty fittings or appliances (typically white goods which explains why most fires start in the kitchen) and they should be inspected annually by a qualified electrician. Smoke alarms should be checked once a month and the batteries replaced once a year.

Security Counts Everybody knows that holiday homes make tempting targets for thieves and it’s essential to take security seriously. Burglars are opportunists and even simple security steps will make a big difference. Fitting approved door and window locks will deter criminals and give you access to a wider range of competitively priced insurance policies. Additional measures, such as installing a home security system, could earn further insurance discounts and provides peace of mind.

Accidental Damage Even house-proud homeowners have accidents and visiting guests aren’t always as conscientious. Accidents can and do happen and repair bills can quickly add-up. Accidental damage insurance is a cost-effective way to safeguard against the unexpected, but it doesn’t come as standard on most policies and you’ll need to take-out additional cover.

Good Neighbours Getting to know your neighbours brings a whole host of benefits to individuals and the community. Friendly neighbours can be asked to keep an eye on your property for anything untoward and can prove invaluable in case of emergency. Cohesive communities, where everyone is looking out for each other, are less likely to be targeted by burglars and vandals.

Get Specialist Cover Standard home insurance won’t cover holiday homes (or any property that’s unoccupied for longer than 30 days) which means you’ll need specialist cover from a specialist provider. As one of the country’s best-loved independent brokers we’ve got access to some seriously competitive holiday home insurance policies and with nearly 50 years’ experience you can rest assured that you’re dealing with a company you can really trust.

Read the Small Print Getting to grips with policy details might not sound like easy reading, but it’s important to know exactly what is and what isn’t covered. Recent figures from the Association of British Insurers revealed that an impressive 80% of home insurance claims were successful with payouts averaging £2,520. Most failed claims were due to homeowners mistakenly thinking they were covered for ‘wear and tear’ or claiming for sums smaller than the policy excess, so it pays to read the small print.

Holiday homes come in all shapes and sizes, and whether you’ve got a cottage in the Cotswolds or an apartment in Alicante, we can find competitive cover that fits. To find out more visit our holiday home insurance pages or Tel: 0161 874 7753 to speak with a consultant.


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