Holiday Home Insurance
Assetsure are pleased to be able to offer Holiday Home Insurance, (sometimes referred to as overseas property insurance), a class of insurance business that is sometimes a little difficult to obtain cover for. With a buy to let building, you purchase a property as an investment, rent it out to a tenant and hopefully the rent received will cover your mortgage rate costs and at some stage in the future, you will be able to sell the property and make a profit. Holiday home ownership on the other hand presents you with other more attractive opportunities. Many people are now buying holiday homes in their favourite areas as a means of having a second home that they can enjoy and also as a means of providing an income via short term holiday letting. Later you can choose to retire to the property or sell it and receive the benefit of valuable tax concessions. The tax man considers holiday home ownership to be earned income and you are taxed accordingly.
Why is Holiday Home Insurance so difficult to place?
One of the main reason it can sometimes be difficult to find adequate holiday hoe insurance is the periods of occupancy that are sometimes associated with Holiday Homes. It is often possible that property is unoccupied for many months and insurers are worried about the increased likelihood of Theft, Burst Pipe & Flood Claims. Holiday home insurance can be difficult to source for this reason. Of course if your Holiday Home is located in Spain, then the chances of you experiencing burst pipe claims are diminished and this will factored in to the premium that insurers charge. However, in the United Kingdom burst pipes and more recently flooding are quite common. At Assetsure, we are able to offer your Buildings & Contents holiday home Insurance for your Holiday Home and provide you with a similar set of insurance perils that you would expect to receive under your own home insurance policy for your UK Home. If your property is located in Spain or France for example, the cover will be tailor made to fit local requirements and local tax rules. One of the other problems experienced by owners of Holiday Homes is obtaining the appropriate insurance cover for public liability should you decided to rent your property out for commercial purposes (or perhaps just to other family members and friends.) If this is this case, even if it is only for a few weeks of the year, you must inform your insurance company or you may find that in the event of a claim, you do not receive the full cover. At Assetsure, the policies we arrange will allow you to rent or lend the premises and you will receive the correct Public Liability cover.
Tips on Finding Suitable Holiday Home Insurance
When arranging your holiday home insurance, the same principles apply as to standard home insurance. You will need to calculate your building sum insured and make sure it is adequate as well as providing a new for old replacement value on the holiday home contents. It is worth remembering that many insurers will not want to insure valuable items that are left in the holiday home, these would include items of jewellery or valuable collections for example. To make sure you holiday letting business runs as smoothly as possible, we suggest that you compile a comprehensive inventory of the contents in the property. Photographs of larger items help and a note of the condition they are supplied in. At the start of any rental period it should be pointed out to your guests that any breakages should be paid for and the method by which you intend to take payment. Serious incidents at the property such as Fires, Floods or Break-ins should be reported immediately.
Rules and Regulations for Renting Out Your Holiday Home
Before you rent out your holiday home, it is important that you not only find adequate holiday home insurance, but you are fully aware of all the rules and regulations relating to running this type of business. Holiday homes in the UK, will be subject to different rules and regulations, to those in France and Spain. It is important that you make yourself fully aware of your legal obligations before you allow your home or dream holiday cottage to be occupied by tenants. In the United Kingdom, your property will be subject to specialist requirements, for example you will need to make sure that all furniture supplied with the holiday home satisfies the fire & furnishings safety regulations. This law is often overlooked, particularly by people that are letting out their own property, perhaps just to make some extra money. There are other laws relating to the use of gas appliances and safety certificates and you will also have to make sure that all electrical appliances are safe for use. Local letting agents are usually up to speed on all the requirements, but you may not want to pay for their services. If you do not use a specialist holiday home letting company, you may find that the local tourist information office or local council will be able to able to give you guidelines to help you comply with any requirements.
Renting your holiday home abroad, may prove a little more complicated and it would be wrong to assume that whilst France & Spain (members of the EU), that their property letting rules and regulations are the same as ours. This is not the case, in fact on the continent, you will find that more “localised” rules apply and in some cases, they can be quite complicated. In France for example any property that has more than 5 bedrooms is classed as a small hotel and will thus require specialised fire protection equipment. This is where the services of a notary can prove really useful. Always check the current rules and regulations before you rent your property.
General Homeowner Tips for Renting Out Your Holiday Home
Of course running a holiday let takes a bit more work than a buy to let, in the later, you select your tenant and hopefully they will stay for quite some time. Holiday lets traditionally involve periods of less than 30 days and taking booking etc can be quite time consuming. The individual that wishes to take on the letting responsibility must be fairly confident that they are able to offer a service to incoming guests. If you purchase your property in a popular tourist area, you will probably find a selection of good quality holiday home agents are available, many actually specialize in holiday home lets and the value of having an expert in this type of rental cannot be under estimated. A
further advantage of using a local agent is that they will have experience of the area and you are more likely to rent your property from an agency that specializes in this area of the market as they will no doubt be attracting inquiries from an established client bank. Keeping you home in a good condition is of paramount importance, holiday home owners find that their guests are quite loyal and with a little
bit of work you can almost guarantee that your holiday cottage will rent year after year.
If you do own a Holiday Home, the following risk management techniques may make keeping your property claim free easier:
- Arrange for the property to be kept looking tidy at all times. This would involve preventing build up of rubbish around the property.
- Arranging for the removal of postage, circulars such as pizza offers, free newspapers etc.
- Make sure the pipes are well lagged.
- Drain down the water systems and switch off electrics during period on occupancy.
- See if you can arrange for a trusted local person to keep an eye on the property for you.
- Consider the services of a professional agent if you intend to do a lot of letting.
- Letting your renters know their responsibilities can help prevent almost all disagreements with regard to letting your holiday home.
- Before you rent out your holiday home make sure that it is fully compliant with all rules and regulations.
- Make sure that your have insurance for your holiday home from a specialist insurance company who are aware exactly how you intend to use the property.
- Prepare a detailed inventory.
- Make your guests aware of all of their responsibilities.
- Provide them with a property hand book.
- Deal with any enquires as quickly as possible to help ensure maximum bookings.
- Being honest with your advertising.
- Make sure you obtain full cleared payment before you release the keys to the property.
- Take a security deposits that reflects the value of the contents you have supplied with the holiday home.
- Clearly state in the contract for letting, how soon after the holiday period that you will return the deposit to the renter.