What is a holiday home?A holiday home is any secondary accommodation you own that you visit a few times a year for a short break.
Typically, a holiday home will be a cottage or lodge somewhere in the countryside or by the coast. They may be owned by the people using them or rented out for short periods by others who want a vacation.
Unlike a normal second home, which may be used as often as weekly, holiday homes are used infrequently and for short periods, typically for only a week or two at once.
What is Holiday Home Insurance?
Holiday Home Insurance is a type of policy that covers your holiday home against damage. Like a standard Home Insurance policy, it’s split into two key elements:
- Buildings Insurance — Covers the structure of your holiday home against damage caused by things like fire, flooding, storms and subsidence. This includes repairs to things like windows, doors and permanent fixtures like fitted bathrooms and kitchens.
- Contents Insurance — Covers furniture and personal belongings that are housed inside your holiday home for damage and loss.
With Swinton, you can have both Buildings and Contents Insurance under one combined Holiday Home Insurance policy.
What types of properties are covered by Holiday Home Insurance?
With a Holiday Home Insurance policy from Swinton, you can insure the following property types:
- Park homes (insured through our specialist partner, Safeguard)
At Swinton, we only cover UK-based holiday homes, with the exception of properties in Northern Ireland. Please note that we do not insure overseas properties, including EU countries like France or Spain.
Does Holiday Home Insurance cover me if I rent out my property?
No — if you want to rent out your holiday home to paying guests, you’ll need to get Commercial Property Insurance instead. Our Holiday Home Insurance is similar to a standard Home Insurance policy, so it isn’t appropriate for properties that are going to be used by someone other than the owner.
A holiday home that is let to guests counts as a commercial property because it generates income for the owner. Commercial properties require additions to their insurance policies, including Public Liability Insurance, which covers you in case one of your guests is injured while on the premises you own.
To find out more about insurance for a holiday home to let, get in touch with our commercial property team.
Why choose Swinton for your Holiday Home Insurance?
There are several reasons why you should choose Swinton for your Holiday Home Insurance policy:
- Specialist insurers — We compare quotes from a specially selected panel of insurers to give you the lowest price we get back
- Bespoke policies — You can tailor your insurance with additional cover options to suit your personal needs.
- Online storage — We store your insurance documents in our handy online insurance hub so you can view them at any time.
Your questions answered — Speak to us over the phone or via Live Chat to ask any questions you might have.
How to make a claim
To make a claim on your Swinton Holiday Home Insurance policy, you’ll need to contact your insurer directly. You’ll find all the need-to-know details in the ‘Making a Claim’ section of your Holiday Home Insurance policy. This explains what information your insurer will need in order to handle your claim efficiently.
Holiday Home Insurance FAQs
What’s the difference between Holiday Home Insurance and standard Home Insurance?
One key difference between Holiday Home Insurance and standard Home Insurance is that the former is designed for homes that may be left unoccupied for prolonged periods several times a year. This being the case, the risk of theft or damage is higher with a holiday home than it is with a property that's occupied all year round.
Our standard Home Insurance policies do not cover a property that is left unoccupied for more than 30 days, whereas Holiday Home Insurance covers you for up to 60 days.
How long can I leave my holiday home unoccupied for?
Your property is covered if it is left unoccupied for fewer than 60 days.
If your holiday home is left unoccupied for more than 60 days, your contents cover will be reduced and you will not be able to claim benefits like freezer cover, loss of keys, alternative accommodation or any accidental damage. Considering the issues you could face, such as an escape of water that may damage or destroy your belongings, it’s paramount that your holiday home is checked on a regular basis. Please check your policy documentation for full information.
For extra peace of mind, you can add Home Emergency Cover to your Holiday Home Insurance policy, which gives you 24-hour access to emergency repairs should the unexpected happen.
If your home is regularly left unoccupied for long periods of time, you might instead benefit from choosing our Unoccupied Home Insurance.
Do I need Buildings Insurance for my holiday home?
As with a normal home, most lenders will require that you take out Buildings Insurance as part of the mortgage agreement on a holiday home. If you own your holiday home outright, Buildings Insurance isn’t mandatory, but it’s highly advised that you take out a policy that could cover the rebuild cost of your holiday home should anything happen to it while it’s left vacant.
Do I need Contents Insurance for my holiday home?
While Contents Insurance isn’t a legal requirement for holiday homes, many homeowners choose to take it because properties that are regularly left vacant are at a higher risk of burglary. Please note that some insurers may insist you install adequate security measures in your holiday home before they’ll agree to cover its contents.
How to get cheaper Holiday Home Insurance
Want to get a cheaper quote on your Holiday Home Insurance policy? Here are a few things you can do that will help you pay less.
- Use a single insurer — Getting both Buildings and Contents Insurance with a single provider can sometimes help you get a small discount on your premiums.
- Upgrade your security system — Vacant holiday homes present a high risk of burglary. Installing extra locks, burglar alarms and CCTV can help mitigate that risk for insurers, who could give you a better deal as a result. The growing popularity of smart cameras means they’re more affordable and easier to install than ever before, and you’ll be able to check your feed remotely online. That way, you can monitor your holiday home at all times, even if you’re miles away.
- Pay a higher excess — Increasing your excess (the amount you’ll personally have to pay out before your insurer pays the rest of the claim) can reassure insurers because you take on more of the risk yourself.
- Pay annually instead of monthly — Paying for your insurance all in one go often means you pay less overall, as monthly finance plans usually charge interest.