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Dec 7, 2023

Protecting Your Second Home Investment: The Importance of Property Checks and Visits for Second Homeowner Insurance

Protecting Your Second Home Investment: The Importance of Property Checks and Visits for Second Homeowner Insurance

Introduction

Owning a second home in Cornwall is a dream for many. Whether it's a cosy cabin in the woods, a beachfront property with a sea view, or a "lock and leave” apartment, a second home offers an escape for relaxation and a potential source of rental income. However, protecting this valuable investment requires more than just locking the door and walking away. Second homeowner insurance is a crucial component of safeguarding your property, and one often-overlooked aspect is the importance of regular property checks and visits to comply with the terms of your insurance policy. In this blog post, we'll explore why these visits are essential and how they can help you maintain the insurance cover you need.

Understanding Second Homeowner Insurance

Second homeowner insurance, also known as holiday home insurance, is designed to provide cover for properties that are not your primary residence. This type of insurance policy typically includes coverage for property damage, liability, and other specific risks associated with second homes. While policies may vary, they often require homeowners to fulfil certain conditions to maintain full insurance cover.

Second homeowner insurance is a crucial component of safeguarding your property.

The Importance of Property Checks and Visits

  • Preventing Unattended Property Issues: One of the key requirements for many second homeowner insurance policies is that the property cannot be left unattended for extended periods. If you neglect to visit or check on your second home for an extended period, your insurance provider might consider it vacant, which can result in reduced cover or even insurance policy cancellation. Regular, documented visits to your property demonstrate that it is well-maintained and not left unattended, reducing the risk of issues that could arise in your absence.
  • Minimising the Risk of Damage: Homes, especially those in seasonal or coastal destinations such as Cornwall, are susceptible to various risks, such as weather-related damage, break-ins, or maintenance issues. Regular visits allow you to address minor problems before they become major ones, preventing costly damage that your insurance policy may not fully cover if it's deemed negligence on your part.
  • Fulfilling Insurance Policy Requirements: Many second homeowner insurance policies have specific requirements regarding property visits, and failing to meet these requirements can result in policy violations. Regular property checks and visits demonstrate your commitment to complying with these terms, ensuring your second home insurance cover remains valid.
  • Maintaining Liability Cover: Liability cover is a crucial component of second homeowner insurance. If someone is injured on your property and you're found liable, your insurance can protect you from costly legal fees and potential settlements. Regular visits can help you identify and address safety hazards, reducing the likelihood of accidents on your property.

Tips for Effective Property Checks and Visits

  • Create a schedule: Establish a regular visitation schedule from a reputable “second home property management company”, especially if you live far from your second home. Consistency is key to demonstrating your commitment to maintaining your property.
  • Conduct thorough inspections: A second home property management company in Cornwall will inspect your property inside and out. Look for any signs of damage, maintenance issues, or security concerns. Address any problems promptly.
  • Keep a record: Your Cornish property management company should maintain a detailed record of your visits, including dates, observations, and actions taken. This documentation can be valuable in case you need to provide proof of compliance to your insurance provider.
  • Use technology: Consider utilising smart home technology, security systems, and remote monitoring tools to stay connected with your second home, even when you're not physically present. Your second home managers should be able to arrange this for you in your absence.
If you neglect to visit or check on your second home for an extended period, your insurance provider might consider it vacant.

Conclusion

Second homeowner insurance is essential for protecting your investment in a second property in Cornwall. To ensure that your coverage remains valid, regular property checks and visits are crucial. By fulfilling the terms of your policy, you not only maintain your insurance coverage but also safeguard your property from potential damage and liability issues. Take the necessary steps to protect your second home and enjoy peace of mind, knowing that it's well-maintained and adequately insured.

Our second home property managers at Chicoco Property Management are available to give unbiased and independent advice anytime.