Accidental Damage by Holiday Let Guest

Anybody who runs a holiday let often has this question on their mind: is accidental damage cover worth it? This article is intended to help you decide whether or not to add this optional cover to your holiday home insurance.

There is always a risk that damage might occur, and these situations highlight the importance of considering having an insurance policy that includes accidental damage cover if you’re letting your holiday home. As an optional extra on your holiday let insurance in the UK or abroad you can include accidental damage caused by the tenants, to provide cover up to the sum insured on buildings and contents and help get your property back to normal if it needs repair work or redecoration.

What is accidental damage cover?

Accidental damage cover, as its name suggests, is designed to provide cover for unintentional and unexpected damage to your home or holiday home and its contents.

**Some examples of accidental damage might be:

  • It’s your guests’ last night at your holiday cottage and during dinner a split glass of red wine stains the carpet.
  • Somebody reheats a plastic container from a takeaway and damages the microwave.
  • Somebody drops a heavy object (e.g. saucepan) on to a tiled floor causing some of the tiles to crack or break.

Who pays for accidental damage to a rental property?

In the case of your holiday let the tenant could be responsible for damage they or their friends have caused, and they should report any incident they have caused in your property and communicate with you to repair the problem. Hiding the damage or denying any knowledge of it could be avoidable if there’s an inventory to protect both parties in the short-tenancy agreement: both holiday homeowner and guests.

Is accidental damage cover worth it?

As a holiday let owner, obligations are often stringent, and can mean that you need to meet minimum health & safety standards (smoke detectors, electrical and gas safety certificate, fire blanket, etc.). Many insurers offer optional accidental damage cover to help protect your investment in the event of damage to your property and certain covers could extend to a neighbour’s property for example if flooding in your flat affects surrounding flats.

Generally speaking, there are a couple of preventative steps you can take to help reduce or identify in advance potential threats of damage to your holiday let, even if they’re not always 100% effective:

  • Think about the profile of your guests for example, do they have pets? Are they using your property to host an event like a celebration?
  • Ask for a security deposit for your property: it won’t come out of your pocket financially if there’s damage, and if guests think they may lose money they will be far more careful with your property and its contents.

Accidental damage cover could be considered as important a feature as public liability in a holiday home, especially if you rent it out when you’re not enjoying your property. Accidental damage cover offers peace of mind to holiday let owners and their guests and might improve the chances of bringing more happy guests to your property. At Intasure we provide holiday home insurance across 42 countries providing cover for long or short term lets during both occupied and unoccupied periods including optional accidental damage.

*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.

**Examples provided by the Intasure Claims team from real claims in 2020. Claims are reviewed on a case-by-case basis in line with the policy documentation, you should read yours carefully.

Ref: FP991-2020