If a property owner is not fluent in the local language, arranging cover or even making a claim through a local insurer can be problematic, therefore it makes sense to choose an insurance company with the policies written in “plain English”.
This also applies to owners of main residences in popular locations like, Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.
In the majority of cases wherever people choose to buy a holiday home, in the majority of cases they are not going to live there full time and need to know that their investment is properly protected.
Having the right insurance is all about understanding what assets are owned, what liabilities the owner is exposed to and what external events can occur which will put the insured at risk.
Local insurance policies can include variations and exclusions relating to burglary, accidental damage or personal liability claims. Some of these might not include water supply or gas supply pipes or electric cables to the property becoming damaged. There might be restrictions on letting out the property as a holiday rental or longer let. Other policies might only give a maximum of 90 days un-occupancy at a time and this is not very satisfactory particular if the owner lives in it for six months of the year and moves to a warmer climate for the other six months.
It is imperative that anyone taking out insurance on their property checks all the details (“small print”) thoroughly and if they need to keep the electricity on to keep the heating, internet or burglar alarm working they must make sure that they let the insurance company know this from the start. This type of action will avoid problems when a claim occurs particularly if there was a fire caused by an electrical fault and under the terms of the policy, the electricity was meant to be switched off!
jml Property Insurance has been promoting insurance companies selling policies written in English for a number of years now. They not only have companies advertising on the jml Insurance websites that cover the UK only, like Letsure, Rentguard, Devon Direct and Allsytles, but companies that cover the majority of European countries like Staysure for the over 50’s, Andrew Copeland Insurance and Intasure. Intasure (“insurance that speaks your language”) will also cover main residences, so if the owner lives in France or Germany for example and just have their main residence there they can cover it. They can also cover main residence back in the UK as well.
These insurance companies are not just targeting their products to the UK market. If the owner is Irish, Italian or German and living in their native country with a holiday home in Portugal for example they should be able to get cover.
A spokesperson for jml Property Insurance said “Home owners are reminded that when they arrange their insurance cover, that they must make sure the buildings costs are for the correct cost of rebuilding. Unfortunately many individuals think that they should get building insurance at market value. This is not the case. It is all to do with re-building the property on the land that is already owned by them. If a property was worth €190,000 last year and maybe the market price has gone up to €210,000 this year, this has nothing to do with re-building costs”
“The client already owns the “land” the property is situated on and so assuming the property was destroyed by fire the insurance has to cover the removal or repair of the building shell and the erecting or repair for the replacement. The sum insured should be sufficient to rebuild all buildings as well as all outdoor structures such as swimming pools, terracing or perimeter walls.”
Buying a policy in English could be the best move someone makes this year.