House Insurance Italy

"House Insurance in Italy made simple"

House Insurance in Italy is often forgotten but before you buy it is well worth deciding how you intend to insure your new holiday home. We provide some top insurance tips to help you to make the right decision.

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Pizzo in CalabriaPizzo, in Calabria, is at high earthquake risk. Scroll further down the page for more.

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 bond 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.

Build 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.

My advice, should you be in an earthquake risk area, would be to have this included in your policy. You probably won't obtain 100% replacement value cover, but, you will usually be paid out fairly quickly and be able to get on with your life.

A friend of mine, whose house was pretty much destroyed in the Abruzzo earthquake, rebuilt within a year thanks to the fact that they had a policy with a UK company covering earthquake damage. Others I know of from Le Marche, who were uninsured, are still waiting many years later for government help and have lost everything.

If you own an apartment then building insurance is normally included in your service fee but third party insurance is advisable.  

Important Update on Earthquakes

Since writing the above, it has become increasingly difficult to get house insurance in Italy from local or international insurers for homes that are in high-risk earthquake zones. Be aware of this before you buy and read Our Earthquake Risk Assessment page.

Contents Insurance

Contents Insurance is always a good idea but not essential and the insurance company will insist on many conditions like burglar bars etc being met. Valuables are virtually never covered and so many conditions and exclusions exist that I have never bothered to cover our valuables.

So many 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.

Anyway, 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 offer far better service in my experience.

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.

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