Holiday home sunseekers urged to check vacant property insurance

Spending several weeks in second homes abroad could present risks to properties left vacant back in the UK, an insurance expert has warned.

More than a million Brits have properties overseas, be it high net worth homes in exotic places, or apartments in European resorts.

However, if the correct insurance is not in place for unoccupied homes back in the UK, a number of costly issues could arise.

William McCarter, of rural insurance broker Lycetts, said: “There is a danger of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude.

“Insurance is often the last thing on people’s minds when they are relaxing in the sunshine, but it is essential to ensure all necessary steps have been taken to protect vacant properties.

“Empty homes are vulnerable to burglary, vandalism, storm, fire and flood damage in the owners’ absence.”

Home insurance cover may be invalid when owners are away for 30 days or more, and McCarter stressed the need to arrange vacant property insurance and inform your insurer of your plans.

“Insurance policies vary and it important to seek advice from a specialist to find the policy that meets your specific requirements.”

As well as arranging appropriate insurance, there are a range security measures that should be followed to boost protection.

These include ensuring all windows, doors and gates are locked, checking any security cameras are operative and avoiding advertising your absence by posting holiday plans or photographs on social media.

“The ‘cost of living’ crisis means people are choosing to spend more time at their second homes in countries where outgoings are cheaper,” McCarter said.

“In recent years, there’s also been a trend for retirees to avoid the British winter by spending several months in holiday homes in warmer climes.

“But whether you’re planning to spend six weeks at your apartment on the Costa Brava, or decamping to your luxury Caribbean villa for three months, knowing the correct insurance is in place will help to ensure you relax.”

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