Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Importance Of Holiday Rental Home Insurance

As a holiday home owner, are you leaving yourself exposed by not having adequate insurance to cover your holiday rentals? I am pretty sure that when purchasing your holiday home, you saw this as a long term investment for you and family member to enjoy in the years to come. I am also positive that you will have taken steps to cover your investment with both content and buildings insurance. However if you rent your home out to holiday makers, your insurance may be null and void. So before your guest check-in, make sure you check-out your holiday rental insurance. With policies now specifically designed to protect home owners who commercial rent their property. Holiday rental insurance can offer extensive protection to both you and your guests against unforeseen circumstances. What you need to know Check your current policy, and find out if your insurance company is aware that your home is used by paying holiday makers and not just friends and family. Many insurers, limit, alter or invalidate policy cover under some circumstances when the property has been commercially let. This could result in an expensive situation for you, should something happen and you find out you are uninsured. Public Liability Insurance With the holiday season in full swing, accidents can happen, which can leave you being held legally and financially responsible for any injuries and claims that arise from third parties. If a guest should fall and injury themselves in your home, they are entitle to take you to court and sue you for damages. Leaving you open to the prospect of a lengthy legal battle, spiralling costs and payouts for compensation and loss of earnings. With this in mind, Public liability insurance is essential, enabling you to safeguard yourself from any legal issues that can be associated with renting your holiday home to guests. It is worthwhile checking that your public liability insurance provides the following cover: • Indemnity cover of at least £3 - £5 million • Cover includes claims rising from accidents involving your swimming pool, such as slips and trips, or cuts from broken tiles. A final note on liability – If you employ anyone casually such as a caretaker or cleaner, to look after the running of your holiday home, it may be advisable to investigate getting employer’s liability insurance. Accidental Damage When renting out your holiday home, there are a number of items or amenities that you will include for your guests use. As a continuous stream of visitors pour in and out, it is likely that some damage will occur over time. Specific contents insurance for Holiday Rental properties will offer you a comprehensive policy to cover both accidental and malicious damages by holidaymakers. This is essential to protecting your home from incidents such as wine stains on carpets or rugs and cigarette burns in soft furnishings. You will need to check the extend of cover for guests, as some policies will only extend to friends and family, making sure your policy includes paying guests will take the worry out of renting your home to strangers who may not be as careful as you. Although you may be covered under your insurance policy, continue to collect a security or damages deposit from all guests. Not only will this act as a deterrent, it could be required if you have an excess to pay on any large insurance claim resulting from damages. Covering Serious Disasters It maybe the last thing you wish to consider, however what would you do is something serious happened to your holiday home during the peak rental season, or whilst guests where staying? In the event of disasters such as a fire or a flood making your holiday rental uninhabitable, you will need an insurance policy capable of fixing things as soon as possible. Check to make sure your policy will cover you for: Alternative Accommodation –If your holiday home is occupied at the time of the incident, you may need to put your guests into alternative accommodation. This could be an expensive cost to you, however comprehensive Holiday rental insurance should cover these. Emergency Travel Expenses- In the event something horrific should happen to your holiday home, chances are, you will either want to or be require to, be present to oversee any repairs or claims. Check to see if your policy will cover such costs. Loss of Rental Income – If the result of any disaster leaves your holiday home uninhabitable, you will lose any rental income you may have had from advanced bookings. Leaving you out of pocket; especially if you rely on those rental bookings to cover mortgage repayments, having an insurance policy that offers loss of rental income coverage, really could make a difference. It is also advisable for you to check what the maximum coverage is for each of these areas, to make sure that in the event of a serious disaster the amount is sufficient to cover any costs. Break-ins or Robbery With the increase of holiday makers to your holiday rental, comes the increased risk of break-ins or robberies. Cash, credit cards and valuables left on display offer prime pickings for a thief on the look out. A key area of coverage to look for , is theft by non-forcible entry, as guests may unintentionally leave windows open, or keys may end up in the wrong hands. Another item to consider is any expensive outdoor furniture you may have at your holiday home. This is also a target for thieves so make sure to check that cover is included in your policy. However, guests should also be aware that it is their responsibility to take out travel insurance that will provide them with cover for the thief of personal items. A reminder of this in your booking conditions is advisable. Security Measures To ensure your holiday rental is secure from outside intruders, I am sure many of you will advise guests to lock any doors or shutters whenever they venture out or are around the pool. However policing this can be hard. Many insurance policies require that specific security measures are taken and will become void in the event a guest fails to follow them. Check what obligations you have with your insurance company, so as not to be left footing the bill. Protect Yourself As mentioned several times, ensuring you are not liable for the costs of any unforeseen event can be difficult, however where there are specific clauses within your insurance policy make sure to stipulate these in your booking conditions with guests. Make them aware they will be liable for any actions resulting in your policy becoming void. By following the above advice, in the event the worst should happen, you will have protected your home, your guest and above all yourself.

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