Top 3 risks to your holiday home

Holiday home insurance is good but risk management is even better

Identifying and eliminating risks in your holiday home is important for the ongoing enjoyment of your property. As Initio insurance handles a large number of holiday home claims, it has identified the top 3 causes of loss in holiday homes.  Initio also has some great advice to stop these things happening in the first place. 


#1 Water Damage:

The number one cause of loss in holiday homes for Initio is water damage. In many cases leaking or burst pipes cause significant damage while properties are unattended.  The damage is only discovered when holiday makers arrive at the property to start relaxing, and are instead faced with the smell of rotting carpets.

Risk management includes prevention of loss or damage and general up keep of your property, Initio’s top tips for counteracting loss include:

  • Turn off the water at the mains whenever tenants and family leave the property for more than a week
  • Clean guttering and keep it clear
  • Respond immediately to any concerns that tenants or visitors may have about the property’s condition
  • Visit the property at least every 6 months to check for any signs of damage or run down structures, and arrange repairs.


# 2 Storm Damage:

Another common cause of water damage is from storms and flooding. While no one can prevent such events we can try to minimise the damage caused by them.

  • Secure any outside structures, such as trampolines and children’s play structures.
  • Take down umbrellas and move outdoor furniture inside when you leave – anything not nailed down can fly and cause serious damage in a storm.
  • Keep trees trimmed and remove any overhanging branches. This will help to keep the gutters clear and prevent branches breaking off and damaging your home.


#3 Burglary / Break-in 

Holiday Homes are often vacant and are an easy target for opportunistic thieves. There are steps that you can take to prevent having to deal with the heartache and distress of someone illegally entering your property, and ultimately having to make a claim on your policy.  Here are some tips to prevent opportunistic burglars from targeting and gaining access to your property.

  • Check window joinery and replace or repair any loose latches.
  • Consider installing security stays on windows.
  • Fit deadlocks / deadbolts to all external doors; especially older doors and ranch sliders which can be easier to obtain access.
  • Install a burglar alarm and advertise the presence of an alarm.
  • Install exterior sensor lights, or check that existing lights are working correctly
  • Don’t advertise when you are away; keep the lawns mowed and the mail box clear.
  • Develop friendships with neighbours and keep an eye on each others properties.


In addition, Initio recommends the following general things to reduce risk.  

  • Test smoke alarms to make sure they are operational, and free of dust and cobwebs.
  • Unplug your television, oven and other appliances to protect them from power surges


Insurance is there when you need it but if you can avoid a claim in the first place you will still be better off.

Learn more about holiday home insurance here
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