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Second home insurance

A standard home insurance policy can’t cover your second home. Find out the type of policy you need for your holiday home or rented property and get quotes for your other residence.

What’s second home insurance? 

Second home insurance is for anyone who owns more than one residence.

Ordinary house insurance is designed only for the place that you live for the majority of your time, so if you have more than one property you’ll need the a different sort of insurance for the one you use less.

If you need help deciding which of your homes you can cover with standard home insurance, it’s usually the one that you spend most of your time in and that you use for legal, voting and banking purposes.

Second home insurance can be for:

  • A pied a terre – for example somewhere close to your work if you commute a long distance and stay there during the week
  • A holiday home, either used by your family or rented out to others
  • A buy-to-let property that you rent out longer term

What type of second home insurance do I need? 

The type of insurance you need for your second home depends on how you use it. The risks are different to standard home insurance as your second home might be left unoccupied for long periods of time or rented out to other people.

Second home insurance for holiday homes 

A common reason for buying a second home is to have somewhere to use as a holiday home and perhaps to rent out to other holidaymakers as well.

Check that your holiday home insurance will cover your second home for any long periods when it’s left unoccupied.

If you rent it out to others you need to make sure you have a policy that allows this or your insurance could be invalid.

You should also think about whether you need policy add-ons like legal expenses cover or public liability insurance to cover you for any claims your guests could make against you for injury or loss while they’re staying in your second home.

Find out more about holiday home insurance >

Second home insurance for rental properties 

If you own a second property that you rent out on an assured tenancy, you’ll need landlord insurance. 

Landlord insurance is tailored to the specific risks that come with renting out your second home to tenants. It’ll provide theft, fire and weather damage cover for the structure of your rental property and any contents that you own and leave at the property, like furniture. 

You can add optional extras to your policy like loss of rent and legal expenses to make sure you have the right cover. 

Find out more about landlord insurance >

Home insurance for unoccupied second homes 

If your second home’s left unoccupied for long periods of time, there are some extra risks like theft, vandalism, water leaks and burst pipes, or fires. 

Standard policies, whether for home insurance, holiday homes or rented properties will have a maximum length of time the property can be left empty. It can be as little as 30 days.

If you need to leave your second home empty for longer than this, you might need unoccupied property insurance to cover it while you’re not there.

Insurance policies for second homes usually cover the same sorts of things that home insurance does.

Find out more about unoccupied home insurance >

What does a second home insurance policy cover?

Whether you’ve chosen a landlord, holiday home or unoccupied property policy for your second home, all will have the same three basic types of cover to choose from.

Buildings only

Covers the structure of your property and its fixtures and fittings. You should choose a level of cover that’ll be enough to have your home completely rebuilt if it’s destroyed.

Contents only

Insurance for any possessions you keep inside the property. Things like furniture to electrics and jewellery. You might not need this cover if your second home’s rented out unfurnished.

Combined policy

Covers both your second home and its contents. It can work out cheaper than buying buildings and contents insurance seperately if you need both.

Optional extras on second home insurance

As well as your main buildings or contents cover, you can usually add optional extras to your second home policy, depending on the type of policy you have.

For example, with a rental holiday home or a landlord insurance policy you might be able to add:

  • Accidental damage cover – insurance for mishaps like drilling through a pipe or spilling red wine on the sofa
  • Home emergency cover – fast assistance to fix issues with boilers, pipes and electrics
  • Legal expenses – covers the cost of defending claims made against you by other people or taking someone else to court
  • Loss of keys – pays for a locksmith to get you back in, changing of locks and a new set of keys if yours are lost or stolen
  • Loss of rent cover – making up for the income you lose if your tenants don’t pay the rent
  • Employers liability cover – You’ll need this if you employ anyone in connection with your second home, like a cleaner or gardener. It’ll cover claims made against you for injuries and losses by them while working for you

If you don’t rent out your second home either short or long term, you might still want to consider things like accidental damage cover.

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