Why You Should Insure Your Home Whilst You Are Abroad

 

So you are about to go on your travels, check-list done: passport, tickets, money, itinerary, accommodation booking confirmations, travel insurance, but hold on did you check your home insurance?

 

Yes, it is important to check your house insurance is appropriate especially if it is a long trip. Many insurance policies can be invalid for a claim if your home is unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days. If you are on a round the world tour then you could be in trouble.

 

Check with your insurer or broker and get the best home insurance quotes for your circumstances.

 

Protecting your home whilst you’re abroad can often be overlooked in the excitement of going away on that trip that you’ve saved up for.

 

White House

White House

 

 

Tips to protect your home:-

 

There are some steps you can take which can give you some peace of mind.

 

  • If you have family nearby or neighbours you can trust ask them to check in on your house from time to time. A family member may even stay in the house every once in a while to keep the building occupied in that critical 30 day period.

 

  • Consider having a burglar alarm fitted. This is a good deterrent for any prying eyes plus it lets all the neighbours know if something is wrong. Take time on your choice of alarm as some can earn you a discount on your premium if they are approved by your insurer.

 

  • Fitting secure door locks, insurers prefer the 5 lever mortice dead door locks. Also make sure you have locks from the inside on all your windows and use them.

 

  • If your street has a neighbourhood watch scheme then join up, this can also help in reducing how much you pay for dwelling insurance.

 

  • It is also worth the small investment to buy one or two timer switches. If you have your lights activated to come on during an evening or your radio to come on at various parts of the day. This is more likely to convince people that someone is at home.

 

 

 

 

The risks to your home are many and you need to consider them instead of just buying cheap home insurance. In the mid-1990s my flat was burgled whilst I was away on a work trip for less than a week. It can happen at any time.

 

I also consider the need to cover for items such as my bicycle. This was important to me as I’ve suffered from bike thefts in the past. Check your policy details to ensure items such as your bike or items left in outbuildings are covered.

 

I’ve also returned in more recent years from a trip to the US to find that my hot water tank had leaked whilst I was away. You really need to make sure that your dwelling insurance will cover for the significant damage a burst water pipe can do in such a short period of time.

 

When planning your cover for the time you are away consider the policy you need. If you have a mortgage then your finance house will want you to take out buildings insurance. Remember this doesn’t have to be to the market value of your home, just the rebuild value.

 

Your home insurance premiums can be significantly affected by the very important contents insurance. Make sure you provide a fair value for the items within your house. No point scrimping on the policy to find that you are under insured.

 

Also make enquiries as to whether items you take out of the house with you are covered. You may well be taking your iPod or beloved Kindle with you as well as a tablet or computer. Find out if they are covered away from the home.

 

It is important not to just go for cheap home insurance, you need to compare contents insurance to get the most suitable policy for you. If cost is an issue then raise your excess and that can reduce the cost of your premium. Can you really cut corners on peace of mind?

 

What are the steps you take to ensure you are insured appropriately before taking that big, exciting trip overseas? Leave your comments below and share your tips. Hopefully by now you know why you should insure your home whilst abroad.

 

 

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Comments

  1. I live in a rented house and so I don’t have a home to go back to. While that means I travel with a lighter burden for sure, it sure is essential to have an insurance on our assets back home.

    • Hi Janit, it sure is easier to move around when you’ve just got rented accommodation to sort out. I got into the property market in 1999 so I’m obliged to preserve my assets now.

      Thanks for visiting.

  2. Another great article… Sent it to our Facebook page.

  3. Great tips. I still don’t have my own house neither an apartment, but insuring your home when you decide to travel abroad for a longer period of time is a great idea. I will definitely do so when I get older. For now, I enjoy my nomadic life in Asia :)

    • Many thanks Agness. I suppose being nomadic like yourself means there are less costs to worry about so hopefully planning is easier.

  4. This is all good advice. We have renters insurance on our apartment now and feel better having it. When we were young and went on trips with our parents they did some of these tips you mentioned. Plus, putting the lights on timers and having a neighbor pick up your mail/papers is also a good idea.

    • Hi Phil, yes many of these are quite simple to implement. With a little bit of planning you can take some good security steps to protect your precious material items whilst you are away.

  5. Great tips! I think that big things like this are some things that people often forget about. I didn’t know that insurance claims could be deemed invalid if a house has been inhabited for 30 days. Most of the people I know try to follow the house sitting idea of getting a friend or family member to watch over and stay at the house. As you suggest, that is a really good way to make sure that the house is still occupied. In addition, I really don’t think that it is good for a house to be left empty anyway, appliances need to be used, food needs to get eaten, water needs to get circulated and so forth. Thanks for sharing, more useful thoughts as normal.

    • Hi Andy, many thanks for your comment. I think you hit the nail on the head as to why insurers don’t want a house unoccupied for so long. With no one there who will notice a burst water pipe or other problems with the house. Routine things we do each day in the house can actually act as good maintenance.

  6. Mrs Guy to be says:

    I think everyone who travels at all,whether for work or pleasure should read this and take note. While The Guy is away things do happen and go wrong in the house so I would also suggest either adequate separate insurance on things like your boiler,plumbing etc…or know someone brilliant like we do who can come and fix things cheaply!:)love to ‘my guy’xxx

    • Many thanks for the tips Mrs Guy to be. It sure does help to have a handy man who is reliable and always gives you good value for money x

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