Holiday home swaps set new trend, but does your insurance provide adequate cover?


Cash-strapped holidaymakers looking for cheap breaks are flocking to swap houses.

Twice the number of swappers are already booked up to switch homes this year than last – which adds up to about 1.6 million people, according to research by Lloyds TSB.

The hottest spots for swaps are Cornwall and Devon (53%), followed by the Lake District and Scotland (16% each).

Other favourites include London, Ireland, the Cotswolds, Dorset and the New Forest.

Some web sites are also offering to arrange overseas sunshine swaps to Spain, Italy and France, with some seasoned swappers heading for the USA.

Some holiday swaps end in tears for holidaymakers who trust their visitors to take care of their homes and possessions.

One in four swappers (25%) comes home to find damaged property; and when they make a home insurance claim, they find that the swap contravenes the terms of their policy and the insurer refuses to pay out.

Now, insurance companies are warning house swappers that they must let them know if they are handing their home over to visitors.

Check your home insurance before letting strangers in

Most holiday home insurance policies have a clause that states if the policyholder takes in a lodger or paying guest, the cover is invalidated – and the same conditions apply to house swaps.

Insurers stress that they will provide cover for house swaps – just that they need to know in advance so they can adjust the policy. Sometimes, an extra premium is charged as well.

House swappers are also urged to sign up with an online service that can verify visitors in case anything does go wrong.

Two of the leading house swap firms online are ukholidayswapshop.co.uk and homelink.org.uk.

Paul Spillane, head of Home Claims at Lloyds TSB Insurance, said: “House swapping looks set to be the trend of the year – it’s easy to see why as this type of holiday caters for so many different tastes.

“To ensure people make the most of their house swap holidays, we’re urging them to alert their insurers before taking part in an exchange so they don’t jeopardise their cover.”

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One Response to Holiday home swaps set new trend, but does your insurance provide adequate cover?

  1. Tony Scott says:

    All very well but we have been refused cover by Allianz and Lloyds TSB for a swap with someone from Canada in August this year. Can anyone reccomend a company which will cover our house and belongings and also accept a house swap ( no problem with a reasonable extra premium). Our “swapper” doesn’t have a criminal record or anything like that!

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