Second home insurance is the kind of insurance you need to take out if you have a second home that is not used as a holiday let business. Insuring your second home is just as important as insuring your normal home – if not more so. But you can’t usually insure your second home as an extension of the insurance on your normal home. Second home insurance is regarded as a different type of insurance, and can often be more expensive.
So if you are looking for second home insurance and finding that all the policies are more expensive, your reaction may be “Is it worth it?” Rather, however, your reaction should be “How can I get the best value insurance without paying more than I have to?”
So here are some suggestions:
1. Find out from the insurers themselves what they provide discounts for. Examples may be: fitting a specific type of alarm – the insurer will probably have a list of alarms they recommend. Or fitting specific door and window locks – again, the insurers will probably have a list of specific locks for which they provide discounts.
2. If your second home is in a Neighbourhood Watch area, this in itself can sometimes reduce the second home insurance premium. In addition, the existence of Neighbourhood Watch in the area may well make it easier for you to arrange for someone to make regular checks on the property, which may reduce the premium further.
3. Make sure the property is totally enclosed by fencing, if this is possible. Insurers look favourably on any legal means of making unauthorised entry difficult. (Unfortunately, tactics like arranging spikes or broken glass along the top of the fence are not legal!)
4. Consider having lights and sound on timer switches when the property is unoccupied. Insurance companies like anything that makes the property less inviting to thieves and it could reduce your premium by up to 30%.
5. Personal valuables in your second home will not usually be insured as standard under the Contents part of your second home insurance. If you want to insure valuable items, it will cost you extra. You are much better advised to avoid having items such as jewellery, computers or expensive sound equipment in your second home.
6. Make the effort to find the best value on your insurance policy itself. Find an insurer or broker who specialises in second home insurance, rather than just going to a general insurer – this should ensure that you get the best quote and the best advice. Look for a combined contents and buildings policy – usually cheaper than buying them separately. And do ask your broker to find an insurer who provides free extras. For instance some companies offer free accidental damage cover if you insure with them.
There is no virtue in paying more than you have to for your second home insurance. However there is every virtue in finding insurance that can provide you with the best possible value for what you are paying – and in taking every precaution to ensure you have security and peace of mind.