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Own a property overseas? Is the insurance policy written in English? By Philip Suter

With so many English speaking people now having a second home overseas it is vitally important that the insurance is written in a language you can understand.

A lot of insurance documentation is difficult to comprehend in your own native language and if it is written in the language of the country your property is in it can give you a major headache.

First of all you might not know what you are covered for and not covered for. Does your insurance cover you for a burst pipe between the water supply in the street and the inside of the property? What about if the home is empty, how many weeks can it be left unoccupied? Does the insurance company insist that you turn off the electricity and gas when no one is living there?

These are all very important issues, however if your property is in Italy and your Italian is not very good, you could have major problems if you need to claim.

The other important issue is of being able to contact the insurance company easily, again if your language skills are weak you are much better talking to a representative in your native country.

There are now several UK Insurance companies offering insurance services for holiday homes, second homes and main residence overseas and back in the UK. Well known names like Andrew Copeland, Intasure and Staysure and Rentguard and Letsure in the UK market. These well known companies all advertise on the www.jml-property-insurance.co.uk website.

What is very important is that you can normally pay in a currency that suits you. For example if you in Britain they will accept a payment from your UK bank and you don't have to venture into overseas account for the annual premium. This is a great advantage if you are in a situation where you have to transfer funds to an overseas bank account which is normally an expensive business unless you are transferring from one Euro based country to another.

In the event of having to make a claim, contacting the English speaking specialist insurance companies is much easier than in a foreign language situation. Many of these companies have a 24 hour help line and claim forms can be downloaded off web sites or emailed to a client at their destination. Most of these companies will also operate during normal office hours and they don't close for a couple of hours half way through the day.

All in all if you own a holiday home or second property in a country that does not share the same language as you do, then it makes sense to buy one in the language you can understand. So if you are an Irish person with a property in Spain, a British person with a property in Finland insuring it with an insurance company that is not based in locally to the property can be a lot easier to understand.

N.B. This information should not be relied on for accuracy and is presented here without the responsibility of jml Property Service and the website it is being displayed at. jml property Services 02-11

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