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THE 2 MINUTE FOUNDATION #2minutebeachclean

THE 2 MINUTE FOUNDATION #2minutebeachcleanBoshers has donated its £3,750 grant from Ecclesiastical Insurance to The 2 Minute Foundation which will help them achieve their aims to see a world without plastic litter and pollution and to inspire and enable people to change the way they interact with outdoor spaces.

Data is power

The grant will be used towards further development of the #2minutebeachclean mobile App to make it the ‘go-to’ litter pick app. Data is power, and statistics from the App facilitates The 2 Minute Foundation to pin point and hone in on certain areas, and make positive change and ultimately reducing the amount of single use plastic that enters our oceans.

Tens of thousands of #2minute volunteers regularly give their own time to clean our beaches

The 2 Minute Foundation now have well over 800 #2minutebeachclean #2minutestreetclean and #2minutelitterpick stations across the UK. They have successfully piloted a scheme to recruit and train a team of volunteer `guardian angels’ to help look after the stations and provide education, most recently starting a beach school. Tens of thousands of #2minute volunteers regularly give their own time to clean our beaches, streets and public places of single use plastic which would otherwise end up in the sea.

Mark Lavington, CEO of insurance intermediary, Boshers commented that, “With the kind help of Ecclesiastical’s Closer to You grant funding we are proud to have supported the charity since 2017 by sponsoring 15 beach clean stations to date and equipping them all with reusable beach clean bags and litter pickers. In addition, 2 volunteer `guardian angels’ have been trained and equipped to look after numerous beach clean stations and to do outreach work in their local communities. The 2 Minute Foundation has grown from strength to strength and we are so pleased to partner with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group to help fund improvements to the #2minutebeachclean mobile App.”

Martin Dorey, founder and CEO of The 2 Minute Foundation explained that, “Data uploaded via the #2minutebeachclean mobile App by volunteers is crucial for understanding what’s going on in our oceans, to help identify patterns, from which we can create solutions to protect the marine environment. The continued support from Boshers and Ecclesiastical is invaluable, thank you!”

Closer to you support for #2minutebeachclean App

Holiday home insurance specialists, Boshers, applied for grant funding from Ecclesiastical Insurance Group’s ‘Closer to You’ charity support programme to be able to boost our support for The 2 Minute Foundation. This programme gives Ecclesiastical’s Select insurance broker partners the chance to be part of its ambition to give over £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.

Why not incorporate a #2minutebeachclean, #2minutestreetclean or #2minutelitterpick with your next walk? To find out more about the The 2 Minute Foundation visit: #2minutebeachclean | Home

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to holiday let and cottage complex owners across the UK. If you need an insurance quote for your holiday let call us on 01237 429444.

 

unoccupied holiday homes

Temporarily Closed Holiday Letting Properties – Updated 17th March 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 having experienced heavy rain, snow, flooding and prolonged periods of cold / freezing weather over the past few months, 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.

self-catering cottage businessHaving the right insurance cover will help you run your self-catering cottage business with confidence. As a holiday letting insurance specialist we have pulled together a few pointers to consider when insuring your cottage complex:

  • Don’t forget however many bookings you take, you are running a self-catering cottage business

There are a wide range of properties being made available for holiday letting. You may holiday let an annexe of your main home, a second home or apartment, a barn conversion, cottages in a complex, or even shepherd’s huts. If they are within the grounds of your home, be sure to make your home insurance provider aware. Home insurers often do not like businesses being run from the premises and you risk invalidating your cover. Seeking advice from a holiday letting insurance specialist will help you ensure you get the right cover for both the holiday cottage business and your home.

  • Make sure you have the right liability cover for holiday letting

Inviting paying guests into holiday accommodation will inevitably see the occasional slip, trip or injury. It’s vital that you have sufficient Public Liability cover and if you have a hot tub or swimming pool there is a greater risk of Legionellosis so check you also have cover for this. You may employ gardeners, maintenance and housekeeping staff for changeovers. If you do, it is a legal requirement for you to have Employers Liability insurance. Remember, even if you are directing the work of self-employed contractors or employing friends to work on your property, you’ll still need this cover.

  • Protect your income, not just your assets

Loss of income whilst a cottage is unavailable following a claim is often overlooked. 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, ensure your self-catering cottage business income is fully protected.

  • Heed guidance if you are providing facilities to your guests

Many owners provide additional facilities to help attract guests and secure increased occupancy levels. This may be outdoor play equipment, a swimming pool, sauna or hot tubs. Equally we see pets’ corners, fishing lakes and wedding venues. 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.

Get the right insurance advice for your self-catering cottage business

The team here at Boshers devote their time to advising owners across the UK on insurance for their self-catering cottages. We’ve been arranging this specialist type of insurance for over 30 years. We understand that each self-catering cottage business is unique. We’ll take time to understand your needs and provide you with insurance advice and the right cover.

For additional tips and information on holiday letting visit boshers.co.uk/blog. If you would like an insurance quote for an individual holiday home or cottage or for your self-catering cottage business, give the team a call on 01237 429444.

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.

technology, insurtech

technology, insurtechTechnology continues to change the way in which we do things and the way we conduct our everyday lives. It can make things easier, simpler and quicker to do, and once the change has happened it can be hard to imagine a time in which it didn’t exist. Just think about the following for a second:

  • A little over ten years ago there were no iPhones – there are now more than two billion smart devices now actively in use across the globe.
  • Go back 20 years and there was no Google – 3.5 billion searches are now made each day.
  • Less than 30 years ago there was no Internet – around 40% of the world now has an internet connection.

Each of these elements has brought with them a common theme; the ability to bring us closer together, to make communication easier and most importantly, more efficiency for us as customers.

So as the term ‘InsurTech’ (where insurance meets technology) begins to be more commonly used within our own industry; how do we use technology to make your experience of transacting insurance via Boshers as quick and easy as possible?

Paper applications and even claim forms are a thing of the past

We know that time for holiday homeowners is at a premium, particularly during the peak summer season months. We want to make the process of renewing your insurance, becoming a new policy holder and making a claim as simple as possible; long paper forms are now a thing of the past, and we won’t even make you go through an online application!

Our team are here to deal with your enquiries over the phone and get you the cover that’s right for your property, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It’s good to talk

As holiday home insurance specialists each of our team work with and speak to holiday homeowners from across the country each and every day. This means we understand the marketplace, we’re able to quickly and easily identify things that you mightn’t have thought about, and also ensure you have the right cover in place.

You can call any of our experienced team, all of whom have been with us for many years, on 01237 429 444.

Getting your documents to you quicker

Once you’ve spoken with our team you can have your quote, documents and correspondence sent to you by secure email. Waiting two to three days for it to turn up in the post is now very much a thing of the past! That said we’re happy to post them too, if you prefer.

Blogging to support your business

As a business we’ve always felt that we’re not just an insurance intermediary; we’re here to help, support and add value to our policy holders and the holiday letting industry as a whole.  It’s this belief that drives our Holiday Homeowner Blog; we want to provide holiday homeowners with useful information that adds value to their proposition, whilst making the experience for guests safer and more enjoyable.

If there is a topic you’d like to hear us blog about then please do let us know!

Being social

You can also find us on the two most prominent social media platforms; Twitter and Facebook. Looking for more of our blog content? We’ll share it here! Have a question? You can ask us there!  Our social media channels are all about interacting with our holiday homeowners and their letting agents; sharing content that promotes the furnished holiday letting sector and our own blog content we think you’ll find useful.

Holiday homeowners at the heart of our decisions…

Whenever investing in technology we do so with our clients at the centre of our decision making; the question we always ask is, ‘will this improve the service we offer our holiday homeowners?’. In the coming months and years we’ll continue to invest in insurtech; and strive to give you the best service on the market.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, call us on 01237 429444.

Accessibility Guides

Accessibility GuidesMost holiday homeowners will be familiar with the traditional ‘Access Statement’. However often this is a cold document outlining all of the specific accessibility features your property has. Visit Britain has now introduced Accessibility Guides to help improve the format of the documents being produced. This is with a view to making them more informative for those reading and digesting their contents.

There are an estimated 13.3 million disabled people in the UK (one in five), therefore the need to help potential guests understand whether your holiday cottage is suitable for their needs has never been greater.

The key to all of this is helping those searching for self-catering accommodation to quickly and easily understand whether your cottage has all of the features they need in order to fully enjoy their holiday.

This won’t just apply to wheelchair users; it could be any criteria that would affect the requirements someone has from your property. Whether that be through a physical disability, hearing loss, having a young family or being elderly. They will all have different needs that some cottages will be able to cater for better meet than others.

The reasons for having Accessibility Guides for each and every holiday home

Let’s take a look at the benefits of having one of Visit Britain’s Accessibility Guides.

  1. Complying with the Equality Act 2010

As a holiday homeowner welcoming paying guests you’ll need to be familiar with, and comply with the Equality Act 2010. If you’re not sure about the Act and what it means for you, then please do take a look at our earlier blog post here:

A key part of the Act is for you to make reasonable adjustments to your holiday home and your business practices in order for it to be easier for disabled guests to use. An Accessibility Guide can be a central axis in fulfilling this requirement by explaining who your property is suitable for and outlining how it meets their requirements.

  1. Providing essential information for people with accessibility requirements

Every person searching for their perfect property has a unique set of requirements. The extent to which your cottage meets a potential guests accessibility needs will go a long way to deciding whether they stay at your property. Failing to communicate the benefits of your accommodation may mean they book another that appears to better fulfills their needs. On the other hand failing to communicate the many steps on the approach to your property or those steep stairs could have a worse outcome. You don’t want people booking your holiday home if it’s unsuitable for their needs. With this in mind, having the most effective way of communicating your own accessibility assets and features can lead to greater levels of enquiries, bookings and reduce complaints.

  1. What if someone else does it better?

If your competitors better explain their offering, then it’s more likely they’re going to get the booking as the visitor knows that the property is the ideal fit for their needs. Having an effective accessibility guides can therefore help get you ahead of other holiday cottages with a similar offering.

  1. Quality Assessment Schemes

Having an Accessibility Statement or Guide is a minimum requirement for all participants in National Quality Assessment Schemes such as those run by VisitEngland, VisitWales and VisitScotland. They also add assurance to those searching for properties and in doing so encourage people to stay with you.

How do you go about writing your Accessibility Statement

Writing a document without a structure or previous experience and knowledge can sometimes be a daunting and time-consuming task. The good news is that VisitBritain have put together a template for their new Accessibility Guides. You can use this useful resource to create your own accessibility guides in the form of a webpage. Follow the links below and begin creating yours:

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.

Have you had your holiday home chimney swept

Have you had your holiday home chimney sweptMany of us still love a bit of character in a property. For those of us that do there are few better thoughts than a cosy night in front of a fire. During the winter when the air is cooler and the nights are longer a fire or wood burner really appeal. If your holiday home is able to offer this most British of things to those lucky enough to stay in your cottage over the coming months, then now is the time of the year to be getting your chimney swept and ready for action.

There are still approximately 4,000 chimney fires in the UK each year. The most common cause being that the flue has not been swept, or thoroughly cleaned. This particularly applies after long periods of inactivity, such as summer, when birds can often nest in the vicinity of your chimney and quickly cause a potentially serious blockage. So now really is the time to be cleaning yours.

How often should you have your chimney swept?

The answer depends largely on how often you use the wood burner. As it will be your guests, rather than you using it, a good tip is to keep track of how much wood you’ve supplied in order to establish just how much is being used.

If you and your guests light it infrequently, a general guideline is to have it swept once a year.

Is your fire being lit more frequently? Perhaps the location of your holiday cottage warrants lighting the fire most nights. Then it’s sensible to have your chimney swept twice a year. Before you start having fires in the autumn and then again half way through the winter months. This is also the case should you choose to burn more wood, than coal.

No matter what chimney or flue you have, they must be cleaned and maintained. Have your chimney swept at least once a year as a minimum requirement.

Communicating with your guests

Every fire is different, therefore it’s important that your guests are able to handle simple problems that may occur during their stay. As well as spot potentially dangerous situations before they arise.

It’s therefore sensible to leave clear instructions in your Welcome Folder. Not only on how to light and begin a fire, which many people will be already be familiar with. Also on solving common issues associated with a fire such as smoke coming into the room rather than the chimney. This can be caused by cold air within the chimney itself (particularly if the fire hasn’t been lit for some time). If this is the case then your guest will need to initially burn paper and kindling, in order to quickly increase the temperature inside the flue.

Leave clear instructions and suitable equipemt including a metal bin for disposing of ashes.

If your guests are unable to quickly address a fault the fire should be extinguished and remain unlit until a qualified chimney sweep has carried out his or her inspections and indicated it is now safe to do so.

Insurance implications

Our holiday homeowners are covered for damage to their property as a result of fire. We also understand the potentially devastating financial impact having your holiday home unavailable for let as the result of a fire can have on your business. Our loss of income covers you for the potential loss of income you may suffer as a result of disruption or interruption caused by an insured event such as fire.

This means that should you lose trade then you’ll not have to pay the price of the loss of income. Losses through cancellations and periods of not being able to accept bookings will be picked up by your policy.

We also understand that repairs and maintenance after such an event won’t be immediate; that’s why our indemnity period extends to two years.

Be sure to consider closely the implacations of providing solid fuel fires in your fire safety risk assessment.

For more advice on the importance of having your holiday home chimney swept click the link below:

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.

Outdoor Play Equipment

Outdoor Play EquipmentWith spring and summer ahead, it will be natural for holiday cottage guests to start spending more time outside. For many families, having the space and facilities for kids to play during their stay is important. For this reason installing outdoor play equipment, if you haven’t already got it, could be a great idea.

If you’re looking to purchase or replace outdoor play equipment at your holiday home or cottage complex, there are a few things for you to consider. Let’s take a look at what those are before you take the plunge…

Invest in quality outdoor play equipment

When it comes to your holiday home it’s essential that you invest in the highest quality equipment available. It not only reduces the risk of accidents as a result of faulty parts or poor construction, it will also last longer, making it a solid long term investment.

We always recommend purchasing any play equipment from a reputable seller, and always follow installation and maintenance guidelines, as tempting as it may be to believe you don’t need the instructions.

Whilst insurance policies tend to come with public liability as standard. You have a duty of care to take reasonable precautions to reduce any potential risks to your guests. Make sure that any play equipment carries the CE or GS mark. Equally it is important that the equipment is installed, maintained, and operated in accordance with manufacturers guidelines. (It’s worth keeping a log of when you last checked it, and other things such as when it is stored inside for winter).

What is the recommended age?

Not all outdoor play equipment is suitable for all ages, so make sure that you’re clear on what age group your outdoor play equipment is suitable for. Ensure that this age is explicitly stated in your welcome information pack, and stress to families that children above and below that age should not be using the equipment.

Essential safety features

Making your new outdoor play equipment as safe as possible. Thus ensuring that your guests have a safe stay in your cottage. Only install equipment that can be secured to the ground. Also it’s important to provide children with plenty of space around the equipment. This is particularly important with items such as trampolines, which will dictate a safe distance in their literature. Check that ropes have protection against wear at their fixing points on swings, and that the sides of slides are at least 64mm high.

Climbing frames must not be any more than 2 metres high. Any equipment that is over 0.6 meters high must have an impact absorbent surface beneath.

Regular inspections

Detailed monthly inspections of play equipment need to be carried out to ensure that it is fit for use. Ropes, bolts, and security must all be checked and repaired or disposed of as necessary. You will also need to frequently clean the equipment.

Always keep a record of when maintenance checks have been undertaken and be sure to have a process for undertaking this activity in place.

Do you have a sand pit?

If you do then you’ll need to be be aware of Toxocariasis, an infection caused by worms commonly found in the intestines of dogs. Children who come into contact with contaminated sand or soil are at risk. We recommend that sand pits are covered when not in use. Animal faeces should be cleaned up at the earliest opportunity. If your accommodation is dog friendly then it’s good to make sure guests are aware of this in their welcome pack.

Check your holiday cottage insurance cover

When making any changes, we always encourage clients to let us know. Play equipment of the type can be found in many DIY stores and some garden centres. Outdoor play equipment carrying the CE or GS mark will generally be fine. It should always be installed, maintained, and operated in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines. It is always worth getting in touch with your holiday home insurance broker for guidance when adding additional facilities.

Please note that this article on outdoor play equipment and guest safety is only intended as an overview of what you need to be doing in each of these areas.  For further information please contact the relevant authority and read up on all procedures and requirements. Please read the ROSPA guidance which can be found here.

If you have questions about outdoor play equipment and your policy, get in touch on cottages@boshers.co.uk

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Loft conversion

Loft conversionIf you’re after more space in your holiday home, then a loft conversion is a great idea. Whether you want an extra bedroom for visitors, or a fun playroom for younger guests, creating a special space at the top of the house will inevitably add value to your property.

Sloping ceilings and small spaces can make loft conversions feel uncomfortable and awkward to style, however it isn’t that difficult to turn a converted loft into a luxurious or fun room.

Small space to attract families

If there isn’t much space and a king size adult double bedroom isn’t an option, consider a single bed with a pull out trundle bed. This will turn the room into a child-friendly space that kids will love by day and provide room for two children to get their heads down at night. A colourful frame will look great against white walls, along with other hints of colour throughout the room. Light walls will stop the room feeling too small, whilst a splash of colour here and there will create a cool den-like room, perfect for younger guests.

See the sky

Want to bring the outside inside? One of the most common features added to loft conversions are skylights. They’ll quickly add light and air to the room, whilst blinds are also easy to add and fit if your guests don’t fancy waking with the rising summer sun.

Luxurious living

Sloping ceilings are inevitable when it comes to loft conversions, but you can easily make it into a feature that works for you and your guests. Add a touch of luxury by installing a canopy over the bed, letting the fabric fall with the ceiling on either side. This will also help add height to the room, as well as making it a light and airy space.

Clear from clutter

Loft conversions look best when they are free from excessive furniture, decorations and ornaments. Good fitted storage will allow guests to store their items, and keep the room looking clear and beautiful. Keeping the colours neutral and light will also help create a spacious and open room; great for those summer visitors.

Attract attention

If the low ceiling is all you can notice, then you’ll need to draw the eye to somewhere else in the room. Turn whatever wall space you have into an eye catching feature with attractive art or a gorgeous feature wall.  Visitors will naturally be drawn to this wall, and low ceilings will no longer be the first thing you spot.

Bright and breezy

If you’re able to, consider converting your loft into a mezzanine and let the natural light from the room below to flow up through the full length space. Whether you’re upstairs or beneath the conversion, the room will feel impressive and incredibly spacious. There may be some restrictions on your ability to do this, however, so always check with building regulations as certain ceiling heights are required for health and safety reasons.

Your holiday home insurance

Be sure to inform your holiday home insurance broker of your loft conversion plans to ensure you have the correct contract works cover in place for the project. You’ll also need to review and revise your buildings and contents sums insured once the works have been completed.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Why choose Boshers for your holiday home insurance?

Holiday Home Front Door We spend every day talking to holiday homeowners. It’s what we do and as a specialist it gives us a unique insight into the industry and the insurance cover your holiday home really needs.

Whilst there’re many reasons to choose specialist Holiday Home insurance from Boshers, liability cover for paying guests being just one of them, here are three other ways our insurance Policy supports our holiday homeowners when they need it the most.

Full loss of rental income: Included as standard

What would you do if damage to your holiday home meant you were unable to let it during the busiest time of the year? 

If your holiday home becomes uninhabitable as the result of something outside your control such as fire or flood it can have serious financial consequences. With the average holiday home taking 80% of all bookings for the period of May to September the impact can be even greater if the incident falls during the busy summer months.

If the worst does happen our insurance Policy really is here to support you.

Our Loss of Income cover means you’ll not need to fit the bill for the potential loss of bookings and cancellations you have to make while restoring your holiday home to its former glory.

Experience tells us that whilst in an ideal world all bookings would be made early, for some a higher proportion will be taken at the last minute. We’ll be able to look at bookings taken for a similar period in previous years in order to make sure you get the right amount of cover for the losses you’re incurring.

We also know that things don’t happen over night and repairs can take time; our indemnity extends to two years, which is plenty of time to get you back on your feet.

Accidental Damage to Buildings or Contents

What would you do if a guest knocks a bottle of red wine onto your cream carpet meaning it needs to be replaced?

Whilst some wear and tear is inevitable for your holiday home, accidents that leave the property uninhabitable as a result can happen.

In these circumstances you’ll want to find the best possible solution in the shortest possible time so as to minimise potential disruption.

Our Holiday Home insurance Policy covers accidental damage to both the buildings and the contents of your holiday home.  This means that if there is significant damage caused to your property as the result of an accident or even malicious damage by paying guests we’ll support you in getting it sorted.

Theft or Attempted Theft

What would you do if your guests went to the beach for the day and left a window open, resulting in the theft of property from your holiday home?

Guests will often spend a large amount of their time outside of your property, hopefully enjoying the great British countryside or coastline bathed in glorious sunshine. This means that your holiday home will be empty for many hours during the day, making it a potential target for opportunistic thefts.

As many holiday home owners live away from their property it can be difficult to police how seriously your guests treat the security of your holiday home; it can be tempting for example to leave a window open during the day to avoid returning to a stuffy and intolerably hot living room.

If you’re holiday home is the victim of a theft or damaged as the result of an attempted theft we’ll again be able to cover you for the losses you incur.

Always read the Policy

These are just a general overview of how our specialist Holiday Home insurance aims to support holiday home owners. We always encourage anyone looking for insurance to read their Policy document in order to fully understand the cover you have in place and also ensure that when you’re looking for quotes that you are comparing like for like cover.

For further information or if you require a quotation from a specialist for your holiday home insurance call our team on 01237 429444.