For many homeowners throughout the UK, home insurance is a simple necessity. Your insurance premium often covers both your personal possessions as well as the structure of your home itself. There are cases however in which an individual may own more than one home. Whether your second property is a holiday home or a house to let, standard home insurance will not cover any claim you make on it. Typically, a homeowner in this situation will take out a separate home insurance quote for each property they own, but this can be both costly and time consuming. Here we will look at the alternative of taking out multi-home insurance and what property types it can apply to.
What is multi-home insurance?
Multi-home insurance policies come in a variety of forms. By their nature, a multi-home policy enables a homeowner to take out a single insurance policy for a certain number of homes. This means the homeowner requires only one set of insurance documents and has a single renewal date for their properties. A multi-home insurance policy therefore provides an easier way to gain comprehensive cover for several properties. Insurers tend to offer large discounts and bonuses for having more properties under one policy, and so can offer more competitive rates compared to taking out a single policy for each property.
The type of property you wish to insure with a multi-home policy can affect the premium of the coverage, but shouldn’t affect whether these policies are available. For example, insuring what is classed as a non-standard home would cost more due to the potential additional costs of repairs. Multi-insurance policies can also offer additional extras to provide even greater cover to your home, which can range from, but are not limited to: home emergency cover, public liability cover and personal possessions cover.
Taking out multi-home insurance for a second home
Owning a second home provides a particular issue for insurers. As a typical home insurance policy will not cover a home which is uninhabited for more than 30 days, a second home may not be covered. This is largely due to the fact that your absence from the home increases the risk of a burglary or certain types of damage such as a burst pipe. Moreover, different insurers will have different definitions for what makes a second home. Whether this house is a holiday home, or a property you use for work, if you are not using it often, you will need a specialised insurance policy to ensure it is properly covered.
A multi-home insurance policy is a great solution for this conundrum, enabling a homeowner to take out a specific policy which will cover their primary home as well as the second home. It’s important to note here that the type of building which you take this policy out for can affect your premium. For example, if your second home were to be a flat, you may not need building insurance as this is usually the responsibility of the building owner, or insuring a listed building can affect your premium due to the increase in the cost of repairs.
Can multi-home insurance be used by landlords?
Another case in which a multi-home insurance may be suitable is if you are a landlord. Also known as property portfolio insurance, those who own other properties with the intention to rent them out to tenants can take out a single policy to provide comprehensive cover for both the buildings and their contents. As there are slightly different types of risks faced by landlords, multi-home insurance policies in this case offer specialist cover for rental properties. The reason for this revolves around the fact if you take out a standard home insurance policy, an insurer can refuse to pay out for any claim submitted when a tenant has been living in the property.
Portfolio insurance policies tend to have a maximum number of properties you can insure under one policy. Within a rental property, anything that may belong to a tenant will need to be insured by them. Every other aspect of the house will be covered by portfolio insurance. Such policies may also include extra coverage such as: malicious damage- which covers any malicious damage made by the tenant; and loss of rent- which will cover any loss of rent in the unfortunate event your property becomes inhabitable.
Although portfolio insurance is a more specialised version of multi-home insurance, the same principles apply. The benefit of having a single policy for several properties is a simple way to provide comprehensive coverage to the homes you own. The discounts available for the more properties you add to a policy is a great incentive to take out such insurance, but scouring the market for the best deal is a great place to start to get the right price for your premium.