This category is for Boshers Insurance News and articles about Boshers the Holiday Home Insurance Specialists. They are of interest to owners of holiday homes, cottages and holiday complexes across the UK which are used for holiday letting.

Articles include updates on Boshers and news and notifications about the insurance market of interest to owners of holiday lets.

Check out these posts, using technology to give you a better insurance service, Boshers listed in the Top 100 Short Term vacation rental Blogs and Holiday Homeowners encouraged to take action as wintry weather takes hold.

Loss of income - Supreme Court Judgement and FCA Test Case - Holiday Letting Cottage

Loss of income - Supreme Court Judgement and FCA Test Case - Holiday Letting CottageThere has been much media coverage of the Supreme Court Judgement made on the 15th January 2021 regarding the FCA Test Case involving some insurers business interruption wordings. Understandably this has caused a number of our holiday home and cottage complex owners to make further enquiries with us as the intermediary and with Ecclesiastical, the insurer, regarding loss of income cover.

We appreciate the significant impact that government measures to control the spread of the coronavirus is having on all businesses, not least self-catering accommodation providers and the wider hospitality and tourism industry.

Q: Commonly we are being asked, “Following the Supreme Court ruling that some Business Interruption policies must pay for losses due to COVID-19, does this mean that I am covered for loss of income after all?”

A: Unfortunately, the Loss of Income section of the Holiday Home Insurance policy underwritten by Ecclesiastical does not respond to closure as a result of COVID-19.

In short this is because the policy wording in common with the majority of sme insurance policies was clear in its intention and therefore not included in the FCA’s test case and therefore not impacted by The Supreme Court ruling on business interruption.

This is a complex matter but hopefully the following explanation will help clarify the position and why it hasn’t changed following the outcome of the Supreme Court Judgement and FCA Test Case.

Loss of income cover

Our Holiday Home Insurance policy underwritten by Ecclesiastical does include a loss of income section typically providing cover for quantifiable losses following a property damage claim, such as a flood, fire or storm damage.

This loss of income section also includes the following extensions:

Prevention of access – this cover only applies where access to your property has been prevented or hindered following damage to a neighbouring property. Unfortunately, for this reason a claim for loss of income due to the COVID-19 lockdown is not covered under this extension.

Specified disease vermin defective sanitation murder – policies taken out or renewed prior to the 1st September 2020 provided loss of income cover for occurrence of established infectious diseases at the premises or within a radius of 25 miles whose impact is assessable (known as Specified Disease Cover). These diseases are set out in the policy document and only those listed in the Definition specific to this extension were covered.

COVID-19 is not included on the list of diseases covered by this insurance. This is because, in common with most of the market, Ecclesiastical’s insurance policies are not designed or priced to cover pandemics.

For clarity the Specified Disease cover in the holiday home insurance policy was removed for new policies and renewals from 1st September 2020. This is because following significant disruption caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, our insurers, and in turn their reinsurers, have advised that such occurrences are not within the remit of standard commercial package policies. Whilst we understand that you would wish to include Loss of Income protection against a similar reoccurrence, we are unable to provide cover for any loss damage liability cost or any other sum of whatsoever nature arising from any form of infectious or communicable disease closure. This exclusion also removes the previously provided ‘specified diseases’ cover at or within 25 miles of your premises. These changes are detailed in this update to the policy wording.

FCA Test Case High Court Judgement and Supreme Court Appeal Judgement

The Ecclesiastical Holiday Home Insurance wording is clear and was not part of the FCA test case and therefore not part of the Supreme Court Appeal Judgement but to provide you with an overview of these two aspects this is as follows:

Specified disease extensions such as in the Ecclesiastical holiday home insurance policy was not one of the wordings being tested. This is because such wordings were clear and the Financial Conduct Authority has stated that most policies have basic cover, do not cover pandemics and therefore would have no obligation to settle claims for loss of income in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ecclesiastical did participate in the FCA Business Interruption Test Case in order to clarify some of their policy wordings unrelated to the holiday home insurance policy. At a Court Hearing on 2 October 2020, the FCA confirmed that it did not intend to Appeal the High Court’s original finding that losses arising from the closure of businesses due to the Government’s action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are not covered by Ecclesiastical’s Business Interruption policies. This means that there were no further Supreme Court Appeal proceedings relating to Ecclesiastical.

Statement from Ecclesiastical Insurance:

“The High Court Judgment published on 15 September 2020 stated that losses arising from the closure of businesses due to the Government’s action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are not covered by Ecclesiastical’s Business Interruption policies and therefore we are not required to pay claims on those policies.

We recognise that whilst the ruling supports the position we have taken throughout this period, the Judgment will clearly be disappointing to some customers. We are very mindful that this is an unprecedented situation that has been tough for customers and wanted to take part in the legal proceedings so we could gain maximum clarity for all in the shortest amount of time.

The Supreme Court issued its Appeal Judgment on 15 January 2021.  The proceedings did not involve Ecclesiastical. The original High Court ruling found that losses arising from the closure of businesses due to the Government’s action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are not covered by our policies and the FCA confirmed in October 2020 that it did not intend to Appeal that decision.

This means that the Supreme Court Judgment does not change the original High Court ruling that claims on Ecclesiastical’s Business Interruption policies are not payable. We recognise that this has been a difficult and uncertain period for customers and hope the Courts’ rulings provide the certainty and clarity that the Test Case was designed to create.”

You can read Ecclesiastical’s full statement which was updated on the 15th January here:

Association of British Insurers (ABI) Statement and Q&A

A key principle of insurance is that the losses of the few are paid by the many. In a pandemic situation the losses are many and the insurance market is not designed to cover such scenarios. The ABI has published a comprehensive set of Q&As to help people understand what their insurance covers them for.

Other forms of help

The Government recognises that its own actions to save lives and beat the virus have resulted in sudden and acute difficulties for businesses large and small. It has announced several substantial initiatives to help them overcome these, some of which may apply to your holiday letting business. We would encourage our policyholders to take full advantage of these where they can. We recommend checking the Government website for more details on the support available:

Making a claim

Should you ever have cause to make an insurance claim, the process and contact numbers are detailed in the holiday home insurance policy document. You can either phone Ecclesiastical on their claims line 0345 603 8381 quoting your Boshers Holiday Home Insurance policy number or phone us and we will transfer your call to their claims department.

In summary

Unfortunately there is no cover within the policy for loss of income for cancelled bookings due to closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We realise that this may not be the outcome policyholders might have hoped for but trust that this explains the position at what must be an extremely difficult time for your holiday letting business.

Now that the vaccine is being rolled out across the UK we remain positive that domestic tourism and demand for self-catering accommodation will boom in the coming years.

unoccupied holiday homes

Temporarily Closed Holiday Letting Properties – Updated February 2021

We appreciate the significant impact that government measures to control the spread of the coronavirus is having on all businesses, not least self-catering accommodation providers and the wider hospitality and tourism industry.

With much of the UK experiencing heavy rain, snow, flooding and prolonged periods of cold / freezing weather, risk management is especially important to avoid or minimise losses and disruption to future holiday letting at your property.

We’re here to support you

We just want to reassure you that we‘re here to support you in protecting your holiday letting property in the long term, so that when it’s safe to do so it’ll be ready to open.

So by, following the steps below whilst your self-catering property is closed to guests due to Government guidance, your cover will remain unaffected.

We do however recognise that there may be circumstances where it’s not possible for you to comply with your policy conditions, where this is the case it’s important that you contact us in order that we may discuss and agree an appropriate approach with your insurer.

Arranging for holiday letting properties to be inspected

If you do not live on site or are not local to the holiday let property, we hope that you have been able to arrange for someone in the local area, for instance a neighbour, managing agent, a housekeeper or contractor to visit your holiday let property to make the necessary internal checks on your behalf at least every 14 days.

During the winter period there are often gas safety checks, electrical inspections or other routine maintenance required to be carried out at the property. These visits can also be opportunities to have internal inspections carried out on your behalf if the contractor is happy to do this and report back to you.

At the time of writing, the latest Government guidance (which can be found here) clarifies that whilst a business may be closed to customers, closed premises can still be accessed for certain purposes including:

  • Maintenance, where this is reasonably necessary; and
  • Other work to ensure business readiness to open.

In addition, where it is unreasonable for a person to work from home they are permitted to travel to work, provided this can be undertaken safely and in line with the latest Government guidelines.

Unoccupancy Conditions

Insurers expect that you continue to arrange internal inspections of your property and comply with the unoccupancy conditions. With respect to your holiday home insurance policy underwritten by Ecclesiastical this means that:

  • whilst the property is untenanted it must be inspected internally at least every 14 days by an authorised adult on your behalf;  AND
  • during the months of October to March inclusive, the heating system must be brought into constant operation to maintain a room temperature of at least 7 degrees Celsius throughout the property OR the water must be turned off at the stopcock inside the property and the domestic system drained and other services such as electricity or gas disconnected (other than as necessary to maintain central heating and security systems).

The consequences if you fail to fulfil the above conditions:

If you fail to fulfil the above conditions cover will be to damage by Fire lightning explosion earthquake and by any aircraft flying object (or items dropped from them) vehicle train or animal colliding with the buildings.

We know from many conversations that we have had with policyholders during the pandemic that the majority of holiday home owners have made arrangements to comply with the heating and inspection conditions detailed above.

Ecclesiastical have provided some reassurance and risk management guidance within a statement of intent which has been published on their website:

We hope that this provides the reassurance you need. If this action is insufficient to meet your insurance needs or if you are unsure about any other insurance issues, please speak to one of the Holiday Home Insurance Team on 01237 429444.

Any further updates or extensions will be posted on our website here.

 

Enhancements ended 02/12/2020

The following enhancements were only introduced for the duration of the English national lockdown period that ended on 2/12/20. These have therefore ceased and, for the avoidance of doubt, do not apply in respect of any tiered restrictions:
Premises that are temporarily closed solely due to the COVID-19 outbreak
Buildings that are temporarily closed/no longer in regular use are exposed to different and usually greater risk than occupied premises and premises that are open for regular trading.
Our standard policies define “unoccupied” premises and apply standard restrictions in cover and conditions precedent to cover that need to be complied with. Normally a higher premium is charged on unoccupied premises.
To ensure customers were not unduly penalised for temporary closures solely due to the COVID-19 full lockdown restrictions the normal terms and conditions applicable to unoccupied premises were not applied to premises that were temporarily closed.
Temporarily Closed meant premises temporarily closed solely due to the COVID-19 outbreak (and such premises were not regarded as unoccupied as defined in the Policy) during the period when the dispensations applied.
With effect from 2/12/20 temporarily closed premises must comply with all policy terms and conditions, including (but not restricted to) unoccupied premises conditions, where they fall within the normal policy definition of Unoccupied.
 
Please note:
1) The start of any period of unoccupancy begins from the date the premises first became unoccupied (not from 2/12/20).
2) If a premises qualifies as unoccupied on 2/12/20 the insured must comply with all policy terms and conditions for unoccupied premises immediately from 2/12/20 to maintain cover in line with the policy (unless otherwise agreed or varied by us in writing).
3) Premises that are not yet open to customers/other service users, or not yet fully used in the normal way for that premises, but does have daily occupation in line with normal working hours for that premises (such as admin/office functions are now operating, or there is a daily presence in preparing for normal operations to re-commence), will not be deemed unoccupied.
See the policy definition of Unoccupied for more details.
If in doubt please contact us via your normal channel of communication.

Outstanding risk improvements, periodic conditions and maintenance conditions – re-apply from 2/12/20 and all dispensations cease

We temporarily suspended compliance with risk improvements by the deadline specified by us, and other policy terms requiring regular maintenance or inspection, where these could not be completed during the COVID-19 lockdown because of the restrictions on movement and/or the lack of availability of contractors.
With effect from 2/12/20 the suspension of compliance will cease. Any policy term that requires regular maintenance or inspection re-applies from 2/12/20.
 
If the re-set deadline is not sufficient for any reason please contact us immediately.

Temporary cover enhancements for unoccupied holiday homes (Enhancements ended 02/12/2020)

unoccupied holiday homesUpdate for Boshers holiday home insurance policyholders who are concerned about their unoccupied holiday homes which are temporarily closed due to COVID-19. We would like to reassure our policyholders in light of the most recent government advice about the outbreak of COVID-19. You may be concerned that due to the current lock down and travel restrictions, the usual inspections of your holiday let cannot take place.  You may also be concerned that your policy cover may be restricted.

Recognising the circumstances customers find themselves in, we would not expect to see your ability to claim affected by circumstances over which you have little control. To reassure you, up to and including the 2nd December 2020 in England, Ecclesiastical have agreed that unoccupied premises cover restrictions will not apply to Temporarily Closed premises. These will equally apply to any similar lockdowns in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as per the dates announced locally by the governments in these countries.

A revised letter of intent can be downloaded (as a PDF) here. The letter details the revised temporary cover enhancements for unoccupied holiday homes.

The need for an inspection or check is deferred until travel restrictions are lifted

Where government advice does not allow the necessary travel to complete an inspection or to check on the security devices, the need for an inspection or check is deferred until travel restrictions are lifted to a level which allows inspections to re-commence.

However, if your holiday home is not occupied, this represents a greater risk of significant damage which could delay your holiday home getting back up and running once the current COVID-19 outbreak has passed. With this in mind, where you are able to do so safely, and within the current government guidelines, we would encourage you to consider anything you can do to reduce the risk of damage or loss, particularly through escaping water from heating systems and security of the premises generally.

In respect of Temporarily Closed premises the following risk management measures should be implemented as far as is possible:

(1) you must maintain in full and efficient working order and keep operational all

  • alarms (if fitted)
  • locks and all other protective and security devices preventing access to the premises

(2) Provided any travel required to carry out an inspection is in line with the latest government advice you or an authorised person responsible to you must undertake an internal and external inspection of such buildings at least every 14 days and

  1. rectify as soon as is reasonably possible any defects in the fabric of the building or any protective or security devices or installations
  2. take action to ensure the premises cannot be easily identified as unused or closed down such as removing waste, recycling and accumulations of post.

iii. put in place contingency plans incase the primary person(s) carrying out inspections or responding to alarm activations need to self isolate or are ill so that inspections and alarm activation responses can be maintained by another appointed person

(3) you or an authorised person responsible to you will arrange that either:

(a) the heating system is brought into constant operation and a minimum room temperature of not less than 7 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit) maintained throughout the property or

(b) the water is turned off at the stopcock inside the premises and the domestic water system drained and other services such as electricity and gas are disconnected (other than as necessary to maintain the central heating or security system).

If you have any questions regarding this please do contact us. However in order for us to manage enquiries during a period where we are likely to be busy, please could we ask where possible that in the first instance you email info@boshers.co.uk. We will continue to update you and our website as the situation develops and thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

Not a Boshers holiday home insurance client yet? We offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. If you need an insurance quote for your holiday let call us on 01237 429444. If we are closed use the quote form and we’ll be in touch during the next business day.

holiday let bookings and coronavirus

holiday let bookings and coronavirusHoliday homeowners and holiday letting agents alike are understandably concerned about the potential for the disruption which coronavirus (Covid-19) may cause. Boshers have put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ’s). Hopefully these will help to clarify the position with respect to holiday let bookings and coronavirus. This includes details on cover provided by our holiday home insurance policy together with wider implications.

Whilst the primary concern for the disruption which coronavirus may cause is loss of income due to cancelled bookings, owners are also concerned about their liability towards guests and cleaning contractors. Hopefully these FAQ’s will help to clarify what is and isn’t covered under your holiday home insurance policy.

Holiday Let Bookings and Coronavirus – Frequently asked questions?

Q1. Does my policy include any cover for loss of rental income if the holiday home is directly affected by a `disease outbreak’?

There is some cover within the policy for loss of income as a result of a `specified disease’. The definition of specified disease specific to the loss of income cover is detailed in the policy wording. You can view the policy wording on our website here: https://www.boshers.co.uk/holiday-home-insurance/

Update: For clarity, the Specified Disease cover in the holiday home insurance policy was removed for new policies and renewals from 1st September 2020. This is because following significant disruption caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, our insurers, and in turn their reinsurers, have advised that such occurrences are not within the remit of standard commercial package policies. Whilst we understand that you would wish to include Loss of Income protection against a similar reoccurrence, we are unable to provide cover for any loss damage liability cost or any other sum of whatsoever nature arising from any form of infectious or communicable disease closure. This exclusion also removes the previously provided ‘specified diseases’ cover at or within 25 miles of your premises. These changes are detailed in this update to the policy wording.

Q2. Is Covid-19 a specified disease for the purpose of the policy wording?

No – In common with most other insurers, Covid-19 is not a specified disease in our policy wording. The extension under the loss of income section of our policy for `specified disease’ is based on a specific list of diseases which does not include new and emerging diseases like Covid-19. 

Q3. What about the fact that Covid-19 has been declared a `notifiable disease’ by the Government? 

Even though the Government has declared Covid-19 as a notifiable disease, this does not change the insurance position under the policy. As the chancellor said, you cannot retrospectively change contracts of insurance at this time without threatening the future of the insurance industry.   

Our holiday home insurance underwriter Ecclesiastical will continue to offer cover for `specified disease’, rather than for ‘notifiable’ or any infectious or contagious disease such as coronavirus. We are sorry that it is not economically viable to provide cover for pandemic viruses such as Covid-19, but with this approach you can be clear on what is and isn’t covered.

Q4. What if guests are prevented from taking up their bookings because they have been quarantined due to coronavirus?

There would not be cover under your policy as this is a booking your guests cannot fulfil. You would need to check your booking cancellation terms and conditions to determine how much refund your guests would be entitled to, if any. It may be that they can claim for the cost of the booking under their travel insurance if they have a policy in force. Travel insurance may cover non-refundable cancellation costs, in specific circumstances. These may include medical advice against your guest or a member of your guests’ group from travelling or government advice against travelling. The ABI have issued some information for travellers here: https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/coronavirus-qa/

Q5. What if guests choose to cancel their holiday because they are disinclined to travel because they are concerned about coronavirus?

In a similar manner to Q4 above, there would not be cover under your policy. This is a booking your guests are choosing not to fulfil. You would need to check your booking cancellation terms to determine how much refund your guests would be entitled to, if any. In this instance the guests’ travel insurance would not cover them as travel insurance is not designed to cover ‘disinclination to travel’ , where the Government advice has not changed to advise against travel.

Q6. What if guests currently staying in the property are forced to stay on because our area comes under quarantine?

There would not be cover under your policy as coronavirus is not a specified disease in our policy wording. In any event, it is unlikely that individuals will be prevented from travelling home at the end of their holiday. If a guest contracts coronavirus whilst on holiday it would be reasonable to expect them to return home to self-isolate.

Q7. How about liability cover?

Subject to the terms and conditions of Boshers Holiday Home Insurance policy, the Employers’ and Public Liability cover provides an indemnity to the policyholder if the policyholder is held legally liable for accidental bodily injury or illness arising in connection with the policyholder’s business of holiday letting.  

Q8. Should I ensure that my holiday home is deep cleaned on changeover day?

You have a duty of care towards any visitors to your holiday home to ensure that it is a safe environment. By taking reasonable steps to make sure that your holiday home is cleaned in accordance with Public Health guidelines, you will be fulfilling your duty of care. The best source of cleaning guidance can be found here:

The situation surrounding coronavirus is developing rapidly. It’s best to regularly check the government’s official guidance which is reviewed daily and updated frequently. If you are already a Boshers Holiday Home Insurance client and need any additional guidance on holiday let bookings and coronavirus by all means give our team a call on 01237 429444 or contact us by email. Equally if you have any holiday letting insurance related questions regarding coronavirus that we haven’t answered above, get in touch and we’ll do our upmost to answer them.

Not a Boshers client yet? We offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. If you need an insurance quote for your holiday let call us on 01237 429444. If we are closed use the quote form and we’ll be in touch during the next business day.

Christmas holiday home interior

Boshers Christmas Opening Hours   

The team at Boshers would like to wish all our insurance customers, suppliers and business partners a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. You’ll find Boshers Christmas Opening Hours below, together with information on how to report a claim when we are closed.

2020

Christmas holiday home interiorMon 21st Dec – 0830 – 1700
Tue 22nd Dec – 0830 – 1700
Wed 23rd Dec – 0830 – 1700
Christmas Eve – Closed 
Christmas Day – Closed
Boxing Day – Closed
Sun 27th Dec – Closed
Mon 28th Dec – Closed
Tue 29th Dec – 0830 – 1700
Wed 30th Dec – 0830 – 1700
New Years Eve – Closed
New Years Day – Closed     
Sat 2nd Jan – Closed
Sat 3rd Jan – Closed
Mon 4th Jan – 0830 – 1700
 
 

Claims – out of hours assistance: If you are unfortunate enough to need to inform your insurer of an incident which will or may lead to a claim over the holiday period outside of Boshers Christmas Opening Hours please check your policy document for the insurers 24 hour claims help line.

For further claims assistance and out of hours phone numbers visit:

If you are a Boshers Holiday Home Insurance client you can download a copy of your holiday home insurance policy document in downloads by clicking through to the following page: holiday home insurance

For further information on UK holiday home insurance visit the website page most relevant to you:

water damage holiday homes
Worried holiday homeowner calling Plumber While Collecting Water Droplets Leaking From Ceiling At Home

Our advice comes as the Met Office recorded freezing temperatures across much of the UK this week. On Tuesday 19th November Braemar in Scotland saw the lowest temperature recorded so far this autumn, a chilly -9.9°C and parts of the UK have already seen significant snowfall. These weather conditions can cause pipes to freeze and burst causing serious damage and vacant holiday homes are particularly vulnerable if basic precautions are not taken.

As holiday home insurance specialists we are encouraging holiday homeowners to take precautions to prevent water damage by burst pipes.

Whilst most holiday homes are let to guests during much of the year, the weeks either side of the festive period can be less popular. Properties are often empty and therefore more exposed to extreme weather and prone to problems going undetected.

When a severe cold spell swept the UK in 2010, insurers dealt with 3,500 claims for burst pipe damage every day (£1 billion paid out in Nov/Dec alone *ABI).

Mark Lavington, Director at Boshers Ltd explains; “We see more burst pipe and escape of water insurance claims than any other type of claim. The average cost of claims for frozen pipes is £12000. (Claims data 2011-2017 *Ecclesiastical Insurance) Whilst the damage caused can be significant there are several simple steps holiday homeowners can take in order to reduce their risk.”

We have issued guidance including a number of steps you can take in order to reduce the chances of potential damage:

  • Turn off the stopcock and drain the water and heating system; or  
  • Leave the heating on to maintain a temperature throughout your holiday home sufficient to prevent pipes from freezing (above 7°C). Setting your heating thermostat at a low level (15°C) will help maintain a reasonable temperature to prevent frozen pipes.
  • If your holiday home is unoccupied during the winter ensure you turn the water off at the stopcock even if you leave your heating on (where your heating system allows).
  • Arrange for regular checks to be made on the property during any period in which it isn’t occupied by guests.
  • Lag and insulate pipes, boilers and water storage tanks, particularly if exposed to the cold (think about attics and outbuildings).
  • Make sure your heating and water systems are serviced regularly and checked by a professional.
  • Consider installing a leak detection system or automatic stopcock, particularly if you live away from the property.
  • Refer to your holiday home insurance policy for conditions specific to your cover

Damage caused by burst pipes can be significant

Mark added “The damage caused to holiday homes by burst pipes can be significant, potentially leaving the holiday property uninhabitable for a considerable amount of time. Whilst the material damage and loss of rental income may be insured the inconvenience to both holiday homeowners and future guests is best avoided. Being proactive in reacting to potentially severe weather could save owners hassle, expense and disruption.”

For further guidance on holiday home checks ahead of extreme weather please visit: boshers.co.uk/blog/holiday-let-maintenance/essential-low-season-winter-maintenance-tips

Boshers Holiday Home Insurance Policy Conditions

We are always upfront and clear about our holiday home insurance policy conditions but just in case you need reminding, click below to reveal them:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

 

Top 100 Short-Term Vacation Rental Blogs
Top 100 Short-Term Vacation Rental Blogs

We’re delighted to say that our blog has been named as one of the most helpful online resources for holiday homeowners across the UK by Padlifter.com.

Our appearance on their ‘Top 100 Short-term Vacation rental blogs’ list, which recognises those that offer ‘best practice tips and ways of enhancing guest experience’, comes after we’ve written more than 300 blog posts over the past five years, crammed full of information on topics such as health and safety, insurance and online marketing.

We’ve been specialising in holiday home insurance for almost 30 years and over that time we’ve been able to build up a wealth of knowledge and experience by talking to holiday homeowners each and every day; the Boshers blog is our way of sharing that experience with cottage owners.

Top 100 Short-Term & Vacation Rental Blogs

No matter if it’s the latest legislative changes on credit card payments, updates to fire risk assessments or ways you can encourage more guests to your property during the winter months, we want our holiday homeowner blog to provide you with useful tips you can quickly put in place in order to enhance your guest experience and bookings, whilst also ensuring you’re on top of everything you need to be doing in order to keep your guests safe.

Here are some of our most popular topics…

Health and Safety

As a holiday homeowner you’ll want to make sure that your guests not only have a great time in your cottage but also a safe stay.  With the ever-changing landscape of health and safety regulations and the growing list of areas you need to be aware of it can often be difficult to keep up.  Our health and safety posts are here to help you put the right processes in place and minimise the chances of an accident happening.

Holiday Home Insurance

We of course know the importance of having the right insurance in place for your holiday home.  Have you ever thought about what would happen if your holiday home were to become unavailable during the peak summer months? How about if it were to be involved in a serious fire and need to be rebuilt? Or where you stand if paying guests accidentally damage your furniture?

Our holiday home insurance posts provide you with the answers to questions you might not have thought or be aware of when it comes to your insurance policy. 


Holiday home maintenance

With hundreds of paying guests entering your property over the course of a calendar year it’s understandable that there’ll be a little wear and tear.  No matter if you look after the cleaning and maintenance of your cottage yourself or you live a good distance from the property and employ an external agency, our maintenance tips are all geared toward making sure your property is looking great every time a guest walks through the front door.

Still wanting more?

If you’re still looking for more information and helpful tips for your holiday home, you can find the full Padfinder.co.uk list here:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444.

subsidence

subsidence Having faced freezing temperatures and snow drifts in late March, the summer of 2018 couldn’t have been in greater contrast when it comes to the weather. Britain baked in record breaking temperatures amid a hot dry spell that seemed to go on for months. Large swathes of land were so parched that fires erupted across the country in places such as Manchester and Dartmoor.

But, while we all basked in sunshine, could there have been an unsuspected consequence? Are some homeowners now paying the price for this hot weather? The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has reported that during July to September 2018, subsidence claims reached a 12-year high. Claims reached the same levels experienced during a similar heatwave in 2006.

10,000 households made claims totalling £64 million. The increase potentially and partially related to the drying out of properties and foundations during the heatwave.

So what is subsidence and how do you spot the signs? Importantly, what do you need to be watching out for in your home or holiday cottage?

What is subsidence ..?

Subsidence occurs when the ground beneath a property moves, collapses or shrinks. This causes additional stress on the foundations of the building it’s supporting.

Wondering how the weather could potentially cause subsidence in a property? All ground contains water; when the ground is subject to long periods of heat that water begins to be lost, causing the ground to shrink (a little like a sponge without any water). As the ground shrinks, the foundations on which the property were built are strained and pulled in different directions, with this stress potentially leading to problems with the overall structure of the building.

How do you spot potential subsidence?

  1. The tell-tale sign of subsidence is the sudden appearance of cracks within the property
  2. These may well be more prevalent around doors and windows
  3. Any cracks will often appear thicker than a 10 pence piece
  4. Cracks will usually be diagonal in nature due to the forces being placed on the property walls; often be wider at the top than the bottom
  5. If you have wallpaper in your cottage you may find that this begins to rip or crinkle as the wall shape distorts slightly.

What to do if you’re worried about subsidence

It’s important to highlight that not every crack is as a result of subsidence – both new and older properties will move slightly over time and have only visual cracks as a result, which won’t be of any structural concern. We recommend that if you do have any concerns about subsidence in your home or holiday home you report them to your insurer. You may need to have a structural survey undertaken to ensure that everything is as it should be. A full structural survey is also advised before purchasing a home, buy-to-let or holiday home property.

To discuss how our specialist holiday home insurance could keep your cottage covered, please give our helpful team a call on 01237 429 444.

Holiday Cottage and Complex Owners Seminar

Three leading industry experts are teaming up to provide holiday cottage and complex owners from across Devon and Cornwall with an informative free seminar in October.

The event, which will bring together specialist speakers on digital marketing, holiday home insurance and the buying, selling and development of holiday cottage complexes, will be held on 30th October 2018 just a minute off the A30 dual carriageway on the Devon / Cornwall border.

The line-up of speakers will include Mark Worden from MiHi Digital, an experienced online marketing and tourism expert, Mark Lavington of Boshers, one of the country’s leading providers of holiday home insurance and Nick Smith, Manager of Stags Estate Agent’s holiday complex team who specialise in the marketing of leisure complexes for sale and development.

Mark Worden from MiHi Digital said “It’s been a great summer for many holiday homeowners across the South West with the fantastic weather driving tourists to the region in their droves.  At this event I’ll be giving some helpful tips on how cottage owners can increase the chances of re-booking and also boost bookings once the sun has gone and we head into the shoulder and winter season.”

Mark Lavington from Boshers said “The meteoric rise of the sharing economy and online platforms such as AirBnB has fuelled a boom in holiday letting. This rapid growth has resulted in a spotlight being shone on the whole self-catering industry highlighting both good practice and shortfalls in guest safety. Now is a good time to take stock, review compliance with legislation and consider your insurance cover. The event offers an ideal opportunity for owners to stay ahead of the curve.”

Nick Smith from Stags said “The leisure marketplace is constantly changing so I’ll be highlighting some of the current trends and offering guidance when it comes to maximising the sale value of leisure businesses through areas such as maintenance, occupancy, accounting and compliance with current regulations.”

For more information on this holiday cottage and complex owners event including timings and topics please click here or to book your place please call 01566 232323 or email hello@mihidigital.co.uk

#2minutebeachclean board Lundy

#2minutebeachclean board Lundy

Left to Right – Dean Jones, Conservation Warden, Derek Green, Lundy General Manager, Mark Lavington, Director at Boshers Ltd

Devon based holiday cottage insurance specialists Boshers have teamed up with insurer Ecclesiastical to support the #2minutebeachclean initiative and sponsor a station at Lundy.

The firms are providing £5,000 of funding to #2minutebeachclean as part of Ecclesiastical’s ‘Closer to You’ community grant program. The proceeds are being used for setting up 10 new beach clean stations including one at Lundy Island to help remove plastic from its otherwise pristine marine environment.

The two minute beach clean initiative calls upon people visiting the region’s beaches to spend just two minutes of their time clearing the growing volume of plastic and debris washed up from the sea.

“We’re proud to support this growing initiative that ensures our beaches are kept clean”

#2minutebeachclean Lundy

#2minutebeachclean Landing Beach Lundy, Left to Right – Dean Jones, Conservation Warden, Mark Lavington, Director at Boshers Ltd

Mark Lavington, Director at Boshers Ltd explained; “We’re lucky to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world where our beaches play a huge role in the region’s tourism industry. We’re proud to support this growing initiative that ensures our beaches are kept clean. As a keen sub-aqua diver and regular visitor to Lundy I’m thrilled we have been able to sponsor a board for the island’s Landing Beach”

Each year an estimated 6.4 million tonnes of plastic enters the sea, killing more than one million seabirds and countless other marine animals.

“We are delighted with our #2minutebeachclean board and grateful to Boshers for their support”

Derek Green, the Lundy General Manager said; “We are delighted with our #2minutebeachclean board and grateful to Boshers for their support. We hope the new board will encourage more of our visitors to help keep our beach plastic free. Our Conservation Warden, Dean Jones has installed bins above the beach, from where the plastic will be sorted and shipped to the mainland for recycling.”

Boshers applied for grant funding from Ecclesiastical Insurance Group’s ‘Closer to You’ community programme to boost its support for The Beach Clean Network Limited. This programme gives Ecclesiastical’s Select insurance broker partners the chance to be part of its ambition to give £100million to good causes. As well as providing funding for charities close to brokers, employees from the specialist insurer are also teaming up with brokers for volunteering days and fundraising challenges.

“It is very special for us to have a presence on Lundy Island”

#2minutebeachcleanMartin Dorey, founder of the #2minutebeachclean, said, “It is very special for us to have a presence on Lundy Island. It is a beautiful island that is well loved by many, me included! I have cleaned the beach there myself when I have visited and know that even marine reserves like Lundy need a little extra help clearing marine litter. We are so very grateful to our friends at Boshers for supporting our beach cleaning campaign, and for enabling us to enable Lundy’s visitors to do their bit to keep it pristine. Thanks also to the staff at Lundy for helping to make this happen. It’s brilliant!”

For more information on #2minutebeachclean and how you can get involved please click here.

Boshers are holiday cottage insurance specialists offering quotes and advice to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurance intermediary can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

holiday letting public liability

holiday letting public liability

As a holiday homeowner you’re sure to take pride and care in the service you give to each guest. You’ll want them to have a great time and to return home safely with some magical memories. However, sometimes accidents or incidents completely outside of your control can happen. This is the time at which your holiday home insurance intermediary and insurer are here to help you. Boshers are committed to continually review and expand the cover we offer to our holiday homeowners. We’re pleased to announce we have increased our Holiday Letting Public Liability cover from £5m to a market-leading £10m.

Let’s explain why we’ve taken this step and what’s covered.

What is Holiday Letting Public Liability cover?

Holiday cottages across the country welcome millions of guests throughout the year. Public Liability Insurance covers the holiday homeowner if those visitors were to suffer injury, death, disease or illness during their stay, the cause of which is in someway attributed to the property owner.

Whether there’s been a slip that’s resulted in a bumped head, or a far worse accident, this cover will ensure you are protected from the legal costs and any compensation that may be due.

Levels of cover

Unlike Employers Liability, there is no legal requirement for a holiday homeowner to have Public Liability cover. However, if you welcome paying guests into your cottage you could be left heavily out of pocket if any of those staying with you were to suffer an accident. It should therefore be a case of how much cover do you need, rather than if you need it or not.

It’s previously been recommended that cover of £3 million for small properties (sleeping up to two guests) and £5 million for larger properties, would be sufficient. By offering our holiday homeowners up to £10 million we’re giving complete peace of mind that should anything happen, our policy will provide you with an unrivalled level of support.

Why have we increased our cover?

We specialise in holiday home insurance; it’s what we do day-in, day-out. With that in mind we’re constantly monitoring the marketplace, speaking with cottage owners and other industry experts. This means that we’re able to keep our finger on the pulse of what holiday homeowners need. We are able to respond accordingly by improving our holiday home insurance cover to meet industy demands and market changes.

We want our insurance to be the complete package for holiday let owners. Increasing our holiday letting public liability cover to £10m is another step towards this. Our clients can rest assured that they and their holiday home or cottage complex is getting the protection required.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Would you like an insurance quote for your holiday letting property? Give us a call on 01237 429444.