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Helping your clients protect their holiday homes this winter
With autumn now upon us and the traditional holiday season over, it’s prudent that your clients think about how to look after their properties, especially if they are unoccupied for long periods.
Although suitable property insurance is important all year round, the impact of specific perils can be more prevalent at the end of the holiday season and with the onset of the winter months.
Tips to help your clients protect their holiday home during winter
Here are a few things to consider if your client owns a holiday home property in the UK that’s likely to be unoccupied over the coming months:
- Know where the stopcock is to turn off the water supply and help avoid escape of water. Ensure the property is drained down before the cold weather sets in to avoid frozen pipes that could later burst.
- Alternatively, if the property is not drained, leave the heating on to help avoid frozen pipes. Ensure that your boiler has been maintained.
- Thoroughly clean and tidy the property to help avoid attracting pests looking for a warm home.
- Remove any leaves that build up in gutters to prevent blockages.
- Always inspect your property after extreme weather, such as snow or heavy rain.
- Find property insurance that suits the particular needs of your property.
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Helping your clients protect their holiday home abroad during the off-season ?
If your client owns a holiday home abroad and it’s unoccupied for long periods, they may also be concerned about how secure it is. There are various ways of potentially minimising the risk of burglaries or serious damage. Here are our tips:
Maintain locks on gates, doors, and windows
One way to help prevent potential burglars or squatters is to secure the property as tightly as possible. The first point of entry can often be the property’s gate. By having a heavy-duty lock, this may make the property less appealing for opportunist thieves. Locks on doors and windows should also be in good condition.
In some areas of France, Spain, and other popular holiday destinations, window shutters can be common. If the property has shutters, you can make sure they are closed and locked securely when you’re away.
Ask a neighbour, family member, or friend to make regular checks
If your client can’t be there all the time then they could ask someone they trust to keep an eye on the property. If a burglar or squatter is watching the property to see if it’s occupied or not, then regular activity, such as a neighbour dropping in to make sure everything is secure, can help to deter them.
Or if your client owns an apartment and there is a property management service for the building, they might be able to arrange checks.
Regular inspections can also help to catch maintenance issues such as escape of water from a leaking pipe, helping to minimise property damage.
Use alarms, security cameras, and security lighting
By installing alarms, security cameras, and security lighting, your client can create a deterrent for burglars. Security lighting that’s attached to motion detectors can also alert neighbours to the fact that an intruder may be on the property, so that the local police can be called.
Protecting possessions in the unoccupied property
If your client’s property is going to be empty for a considerable length of time, they may want to move valuables to a safe and secure storage facility. This can include furniture and electrical goods such as TVs and entertainment systems, which can help make the property less attractive to burglars or squatters.
Learn more about our products and services
At Intasure, we provide specialist cover for holiday homes, both in the UK and in over 20 countries and territories overseas, including in much of the EU. This can help your clients with their specific property insurance needs. To learn more contact your dedicated Business Development Manager.
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The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Intasure accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.