As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, our minds start to turn to those summer holidays most of us have coming up in the next few months. For some, those holidays could mean long cruises, multi-country travel experiences or even months away from the UK at a holiday home.


But with these long periods away, may come some serious restrictions on many home insurance policies that homeowners may not be aware of, leaving them vulnerable to losing out on thousands.


Cowens Private Clients are warning that many people who plan on going away for 30 days or more are often completely unaware of strict unoccupancy limitations placed on most home insurance policies, which can leave people unable to claim should something happen to their house whilst they are away.


Emma Ragsdale, Private Clients Manager at Cowens, said: “When people book a long holiday or trip, leaving their home unoccupied for more than 30 days, their insurance policy is often the very last thing on their mind. We are finding that more and more people are losing out due to strict restrictions put in place by insurers – which are often not communicated or made clear to the policyholder.”


If a house is left empty for over 30 days, many perils may not be covered and in the event of escape of water, malicious damage, vandalism, loss of metered water and/or oil, accidental damage to the home including to glass and sanitary ware, a claim would be turned down by the insurer.


Emma continued: “Many people who leave the country for months at a time on a regular basis will have specialist home insurance to cover this, but in the case of people taking a one-off cruise or trip of a lifetime, these restrictions could have serious financial implications should the worst happen.


“If you return from your trip away to find a burst pipe or smashed window, travel documents will always be required to establish how long you were away from the house for. To prevent this, in one-off situations, insurers are usually willing to work with the client to put in place specialist cover, but the policyholder must be aware of these restrictions in the first place.


“Consult an expert insurance broker when taking out home insurance. Having peace of mind about the significant terms and conditions of your policy really is priceless and makes a huge impact in cases like this.  When discussing your requirements, where lengthy holidays are likely, we will clarify what unoccupancy actually means to the insurer and if there are certain ways of getting around the terms – such as having a house sitter stay in the house for one or two nights to break up the 30-day period.

For more information about how Cowens Private Clients could help you and your family get the most out of your insurance, contact Emma on or 01623649931.