Insuring a Holiday Home in a Foreign Country

Holiday home insurance may not be mandatory in many countries, but it is extremely important that you buy it. If you do not, you are leaving yourself open to thousands of dollars, euros or pounds in repair, loss of income or even litigation.

Is holiday home insurance mandatory?

In many countries, no. However, it is not worth the risk of not having it.

See our individual country guides to see if it is mandatory in your specific country.

Where should you buy holiday home insurance?

When it comes to insurance, cheapest is seldom best.

Saving €50 on premiums may seem like a bargain – but if your protection is significantly reduced, or the company is difficult to deal with, it simply isn’t worth it.

The internet is your friend! Use it to compare prices and policies (price comparison websites abound in almost every country). Also make sure you do a Google search on the company you’re considering buying from to highlight any issues other customers may have had. You might be shocked at the results…

Please see our Guide to Insuring Property for more information – including on whether it is better to buy insurance ‘at home’ or abroad.

Always make sure:

You are dealing with a reliable company

Some see paying out as an optional extra or a reward for completing their administrative obstacle course. It is well worth paying a little extra to deal with a company that has a culture of prompt payment.

You read the policy document

I know that this is tedious and that most people don’t bother but this is such an important document you really need to take the time.

You comply, strictly, with any conditions attached to the policy

If you don’t, they are likely to refuse payment.

Holiday home insurance

Insuring a holiday home comes with a set of challenges that insuring a primary residence doesn’t.

The main two challenges are the fact that the property is likely to stand empty for long periods of time; and that it is likely to be let (rented out) for parts of the year. These circumstances are not covered by standard property insurance.

For these reasons, many insurance companies offer special holiday home insurance.

Holiday home insurance should cover all risks covered on a normal property insurance policy.

It should also cover you for all the times when your property is empty – or when it is let out (whether to family and friends or strangers). A good policy will include loss of income if your property is unable to be let for a covered reason (e.g. damage from flooding).

Insurance for an unoccupied property

Even if you do let out your holiday home for much of the year, it is likely that it will stand empty for 30 days or more. For this, you need unoccupied property insurance.

See our Guide to Insuring an Investment Property for more details.

Insurance for a let (rented out) property

Letting a property can put you in line for all kinds of expenses: from tenants damaging the property to someone else damaging themselves on the premises!

For this reason it is essential that you purchase landlord’s insurance if you rent out your holiday home.

See our Guide to Insuring an Investment Property for more details.

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