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Mark Lavington of holiday letting insurance specialist Boshers, based in Devon, knows what you need to consider when insuring your holiday cottage business.
You may have an annexe, a stable or barn conversion, a gate house or even shepherd’s huts in a paddock that you intend to let out. If the accommodation is within the grounds of your home, be sure to make your home insurer aware of what you are planning. Insurance companies often do not like businesses being run from residential premises and you risk invalidating your existing cover. Seeking advice from a holiday letting insurance specialist will help you get the right cover for both your holiday accommodation business and your home.
Inviting paying guests into your holiday accommodation puts you at risk of visitors having an accident or other mishap which could be deemed your fault. For this reason, it is vital that you have a sufficient amount of Public Liability cover. If you have a hot tub or swimming pool there are also risks, including water-borne diseases such as Legionellosis (also known as Legionnaire’s disease), so check you also have specific cover for this. You may employ gardeners, maintenance and housekeeping staff. If you do, it is a legal requirement for you to have Employer’s Liability insurance. Remember, even if you are directing the work of self-employed contractors or employing friends to work on your property, you will still need this cover.
Many owners provide facilities such as outdoor play equipment, a swimming pool, sauna or hot tubs. Equally we see pet corners, fishing lakes and sometimes accommodation used as a wedding venue. To protect yourself and your guests, risk assess your additional facilities, provide instruction leaflets and refer to RoSPA safety guidelines. Remember to inspect equipment regularly. Declare all facilities to your insurers and be aware that your policy may contain conditions that you need to follow.
Make sure your policy covers all potential bookings lost, not just pre-booked holidays. Your property may be unavailable for a sustained period in the event of a major loss such as a fire, flood or burst pipe, so it is key to protect your income.
It’s a good idea to seek specialist insurance advice for your holiday accommodation business. Our holiday letting insurance team at Boshers specialises in insurance for holiday cottage complexes and individual holiday homes across the UK. We have been arranging this specialist type of insurance for more than 25 years and can help make sure you have the right cover for your needs.