Obtaining a quote for holiday home contents insurance is a relatively straightforward process. Yet, it is important to research and understand exactly which contents within your holiday home can be protected – taking into consideration any policy exclusions, excess limits and optional policy extras. It is not normally sold on a stand-alone basis, but instead included in a combined buildings and contentsholiday home insurance policy. Most insurers will make it financially attractive to buy a combined policy. However, for some policyholders with a very large amount of contents, cover can sometimes be provided. Remember buying the cheapest policy may be a false economy, if when you need to make a claim, you find you are not adequately covered.
As the boom in second home ownership continues, we continue to receive telephone calls asking for contents insurance cover for increasingly higher amounts. This is driven in part, by many holiday home landlords who are meeting the needs of ever increasingly particular holiday tenants. Today’s, holidaymakers expect a high standard of interior fixtures and fittings, modern conveniences and accessories – all designed to make the UK holiday experience as comfortable as possible. Expectations are so high that many owners of holiday villas, cottages, static caravans and timber chalets, are spending increasing amounts on kitting out there holiday letting to the highest standard possible. Likewise, for the many second homeowners, the temptation to furnish their alternative property in a respectable and homely fashion, means paying greater attention to the contents sections of their insurance policy is vital.
To make sure you are covered, the first step is always read the insurance policy document you are considering buying. You must also have as precise as possible valuation of all of your belongings, otherwise you may find yourself under insured in the event of an insurance claim. To make it easier for holiday home owners, most insurers provide a blanket basis of cover. For example, they may offer £50,000 of contents cover as standard. This is usually sufficient for most people (but not all in all cases). So whether you are comparing contents and home insurance policies online, or discussing your individual needs face to face with your local insurance broker – be sure to understand the basis upon which your holiday home items will be valued. Likewise, you should make an effort to understand the types of risks that may be included or specifically excluded from the policy.
Many contents policy wordings work on a ‘new for old basis’ which links to a ‘sum insured’. This means any insurance claim will be settled by replacing damaged, lost or stolen item with an equivalent new item. Contents refers not just to fun stuff in the home (like a laptop or iphone), but also to boring items (such as carpets and curtains). To value all your holiday home contents for insurance purposes, make a list of all items room by room. It is never sensible to reduce your contents cover to reduce your online quotation. This is because some insurers may apply what is termed “average”. This means that if you only insure fifty percent of your contents by value, then you will only get fifty percent back in value after a valid insurance claim, irrespective of the amount destroyed. So, being under insured in the first place could be a false economy should the worst happen.
You should pay particular attention to the cover limits imposed within a policy. These will normally cap claims amounts of ‘high risk items’ and may have high excesses. High risk items are such things as electrical goods, jewellery, stamp collections, laptops and computers. To deter policy holders from making lots of small insurance claims, many insurance companies offer no claims discounts to customers with lots of claims free years on their insurance record.
Some holiday home contents insurance allows you to optionally extend protection for your valuable items, when you are ‘away from the property’. High value items are things like mobile telephones, jewellery and cameras. This cover will inevitability have higher costs associated with it. Practically speaking contents insurance means insuring possessions in a building against insurable perils, (such as fire, flood, earthquake, land-heave or subsidence, impact, theft, malicious damage by third parties, or accidental damage). Contents are generally those possessions that you can readily remove from your own home and not fixed in to the fabric of the building.
Some policies will also provide optional extras for unusual situations where you need extra peace of mind. For example, you may wish to opt for ‘freezer cover’, which replaces the cost of contents of your freezer should it breakdown or if there was a power cut. This is quite handy if you are running a bed-and-breakfast establishment or self catering holiday home. Similarly, many furnished holiday home owners will also provide children’s toys for the garden, bikes for the adults, beach equipment and other accessories – most of which are left outdoors in outbuildings or garden sheds. If these items are taken away from the property, you may wish to obtain extra cover to protect them from loss or accidental damage. In general terms, accidental damage is optional extra which increases the annual premium. We hope this short summary helps.
For Holiday Home Insurance Buildings and Contents, contact Assetsure.