So you want to buy a vacation home in Italy? Then what Insurance will you need?
Home Insurance in Italy
Insuring your vacation home in Italy as an Expatriate in Italy is essential. As you’re planning your move to Italy & hunting for your dream retirement home in Italy & plan to live there all year round or while you’re searching for your perfect holiday home in Italy as an investment, stay informed & ahead of the game.
Home owners insurance is not obligatory …. unless you have a mortgage, in which case the lender will require you to have insurance for the property.
In terms of insuring a house and getting a mortgage it is often easier to do this in your home country, particularly if the property is to be used as a holiday home. In the UK there are a number of reputable insurance firms offering both house insurance and mortgages.
The advantages of insuring in this way are numerous but two of the most important are:
1) House Insurance claims are often settled quicker through UK, Northern European and US insurance companies.
2) It is a lot simpler to have insurance policies in your own language and the handling of claims is invariably easier.
It is important to note that you should use one insurance company for both household content insurance and building/house insurance in order to avoid conflicts between the insurance companies in the case of a claim.
BUILDING INSURANCE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT
Try to make sure that storm damage and natural disasters are covered and that the amount you are insured for covers the rebuilding cost.
Earthquakes are supposed to be covered by the Italian government – but you might wait twenty years for your house to be rebuilt.
Should you be in an earthquake risk area, be sure this is included in your policy. You will be unlikely to obtain 100% replacement value cover, but you will likely be paid out fairly quickly and be able to get on with your life.
If you own an apartment then building insurance is normally included in your service fee but third party insurance is advisable.
Contents Insurance is always a good idea but not essential and the insurance company will insist on many conditions like burglar bars, locked, not padlocked, doors windows, etc being met. Valuables are virtually never covered and so many conditions and exclusions exist that unless you’re stashing priceless artwork & family jewels with mountains of documentation & Tower of London security, it’s just not worth it.
Sadly the case is that Italian insurance companies have house insurance policies that seem designed to find loopholes to get out of paying no matter what and understanding the insurance small print in English is bad enough let alone in Italian.
The result is that, even if you pay a slightly higher premium to a company in your own country, it is likely to be a better option.
It is not a forgone conclusion that house insurance premiums will be higher in your own country. Italy has very high insurance premiums generally and insurance companies in the UK, Holland (and many other countries too) often have lower insurance premiums than those in Italy. They also tend to offer far better service.
Many UK companies are specialized in holiday home insurance and for some reason Italian household insurance companies often seem reluctant to pay out on claims involving holiday homes, so do your homework & due diligence in advance.
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Good luck & happy hunting!