Insurance for holiday homes

Holiday homes carry their own specific risks since not only are there the normal dangers of fire, flood, subsidence, theft etc but in an increasingly litigious world there is a public liability risk if people are injured or suffer losses in any way in the house as well as the potential loss of rental income if a property is rendered uninhabitable for a while. Owners of properties overseas are perhaps at the greatest risk because of different laws and customs, unfamiliar building standards, and the sheer problems of distance; even your travel expenses in the event of a problem could be considerable. It is vital that any insurance policy is at least written in plain English if not actually underwritten by a UK company; the difficulty of arguing over the fine print of a policy in a foreign court can be immense. Beware of exclusion clauses; some policies may require you to, for instance, drain down heating systems, disconnect electrical power, turn off water, or switch on burglar alarm systems when the property is unoccupied. Whether your holiday home is in the UK or abroad the potential pitfalls are many so you need to scrutinise the policy documents even more carefully than usual.

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