Top Holiday Home Claims – and How to Avoid Them

For lots of holiday home owners, insurance is an annual tick box, and possibly a bit of a nuisance. You’re more likely to worry about what the weather’s going to be like for your next visit, occupancy if you rent out your holiday home, or how much you paid in second home stamp duty. Things like leaks probably don’t register on your radar – but according to some of our latest data, they possibly should…

Here at Towergate, we’ve looked at the top 10 most common holiday home claims in 2017 to 2019, how long they take to fix, and the average cost of putting things right.

The most common claim and top spot on our list is taken up by escape of water (leaks) - with the average claim taking 90 days to fix, and costing a whopping £7,596.23. Next comes storm damage, taking 72 days and costing £3,907.26, with accidental damage coming in at number 3, taking 43 days and £1, 305.03 to repair.

The most expensive claims are for impact (for instance if a car crashed into your holiday home), number 7 on the list, and fire, in at number 5, costing an average of £10,080.34 and £8,142.03 respectively. Meanwhile, it’s impact and malicious damage that take the longest time to fix – an average of 148 days and 133 days – a sizeable chunk of your year.

Holiday homes face different risks to your everyday property. Because you’re not in residence full time, damage can get worse while the property is unoccupied, making things more expensive to fix. It’s also not just the cost of repairs you have to think about – it’s things like lost income on holiday lets if people can’t stay in your property.

 There is good news though – if you’re insured properly with a policy designed for your holiday home and how you use it, these costs don’t have to come out of your own pocket. Hopefully looking at our top ten risks will make your next year’s premium feel a little less of a nuisance and a bit more of a worthwhile investment.

Top holiday home claims 2017-2019

 

 

Peril

Average cost to fix

Average days to resolve

1

Escape of Water

£7,596.23

90

2

Storm

£3,907.26

72

3

Accidental Damage

£1,305.03

43

4

Theft

£3,655.22

56

5

Fire

£8,142.03

70

6

Flood

£7,967.22

71

7

Impact

£10,080.34

148

8

Liability

£3,459.57

66

9

Lightning

£1,414.75

25

10

Malicious damage

£3,530.47

133

How to avoid holiday home claims

Here are our top 5 tips:

  • Don’t be a stranger

    One of the key things is to make sure someone is going into your holiday home regularly – whether that’s an agency, a cleaner, or trusted neighbour. The sooner you spot a problem the easier it is to limit the damage.

  • Protect your pipes

    Burst pipes are a major cause of leaks, the number 1 cause of holiday home claims, so in the colder months make sure yours are protected. Leave your heating on low, insulate outside pipes and those in the loft, and check joints and joins regularly.

  • Prepare for bad weather

    Storms are the number 2 cause of claims, so keep an eye on the weather forecast and make sure your holiday home is storm proof! Clear gutters of leaves that could stop water draining properly, and secure garden furniture and other items properly so they can’t blow into your property. Keep any large trees and bushes cut back and well maintained.

  • Update your security

    Theft is our number 4 cause of claims, and holiday homes are at a greater risk because they’re not occupied all the time. Get an alarm fitted, install floodlights, leave lights on timers when you’re away, and check the locks on your windows and doors are up to scratch.

  • Keep on top of maintenance

    Get your gas and electrical appliances serviced every year, and get someone to check your roof for a quick MOT too. Preventing problems before they occur is far cheaper than fixing them after the fact.

Finally, don’t forget to keep in touch with your insurance company – we’re actually here to help! Let us know about any changes to your property or how it’s being used.

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.