Check Your Home Insurance Before You Go On Holiday.

Check Your Home Insurance Before You Go On Holiday.

by Caleb James on 29 Jul, 2011

It’s that time of the year when your hard earned savings over the last 12 months are blown on the annual holiday in the sun. Although “staycations” have become more popular in the last few years because of recession hit family purses, it is estimated that 36 million Britons will still flock to sunnier destinations in Europe or further afield to top up their tan this year. Before you pack your sun cream it would be wise to check your household insurance, especially if you’re planning to leave your house unattended for a few weeks. Most insurers cover up to 30 days as standard but it is worth checking the small print.

Although easily put off or overlooked, a few minutes checking your insurance could make all the difference if you are unfortunate enough to experience a major loss such as theft, flood or fire. The last thing you want on return from holiday is to find that your insurance was invalid because you were away for too long or hadn’t notified your insurers or complied with their requirements.

A recent survey by Swinton Insurance revealed that one in five people are “very concerned” about leaving their property empty while on holiday. So, doing your homework a few weeks before travelling is very important for your peace of mind and your finances. Not only should you check on your insurer’s individual terms and conditions for your buildings and/or contents policy but it is important to check if the items you take away with you are also covered. These would typically be mobile phones, iPods, glasses, jewellery, cameras and, of course, cash. Some policies cover items abroad whilst on holiday but if not, you can make sure these are included in your holiday travel insurance.

Research by Swinton Insurance alarmingly stated that over 50% of us have left a window open when leaving the house unoccupied, and one in five have left the bunch of keys in the door! So here are some general tips to check up on before heading to the sun: –

Ensure your security alarm is set and working correctly.

Lock all doors and windows securely, whilst remembering to remove the lock keys from sight.

Turn water or gas off at the mains.

Inform trusted friends or neighbours of your holiday dates.

Ask trusted neighbours to pop in and remove mail from view of the letterbox.

Consider purchasing a timer for switching lights on and off at various times.

Don’t forget to secure outhouses and remove high value tools – leave these with family or friends.

Don’t broadcast your holiday dates on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have a milkman, or you have a paper delivered, remember to cancel.

By using some common sense and spending just a little time, you can leave for the annual sun fest free from worry about your home and belongings. You know it makes sense!

About the Author

Caleb James

Caleb James is a financial advisor and journalist, who contributes regularly to financial blogs and industry publications.