North Cyprus Property Insurance
Property Insurance: Looking After Your TRNC Home
Whether your home in North Cyprus is your main residence, or a holiday home, proper house insurance is an absolute necessity. However, choosing the right insurance firm for an overseas property doesn't mean you have to abandon the security of the UK insurance system. Dealing with a UK-based firm ensures all your policy documents are in English, but are tailored to local market requirements.
Building Insurance for TRNC Properties
Several insurance firms in the UK offer house insurance abroad. Always check that your insurer is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (the FSA). Also, check that the company has experience in insuring homes in North Cyprus, and that the insurance underwriter is secure.
North Cyprus: Home Insurance for Residents
If you live in North Cyprus, your home in the TRNC requires both buildings and contents insurance.
Buildings insurance for Northern Cyprus properties covers the structure of your home in the event of major events such as fire, storm, earthquakes and floods, all of which can cause serious damage. Make sure your buildings insurance also covers any outbuildings, and structures such as lifts, fuel and water tanks, swimming pools, generators and satellite dishes. Also check to see if your solar panels are insured, as many policies cover theft but not accidental damage. DO NOT just rely on your builder's guarantees for new properties; they are not comprehensive enough, and some consider them barely worth the paper they are written on!
Contents cover for homes in North Cyprus should cover everything inside your home, and include damage caused by any of the major events listed above. Do make sure you are adequately insured for ALL your furniture, fittings, carpets, etc as well as your possessions. (Many people in the UK find out the hard way that they are badly under-insured when their homes get flooded, for example.)
Contents cover for properties in North Cyprus should also cover items removed temporarily outside the home, including money, plus items stored in outbuildings, such as bikes or garden furniture. There is often a single article limit of around £3000 for claims, so if you have an item worth more, such as antiques or jewelry, you should detail them separately on your policy. Again, remember that replacing your favourite glass vase will probably cost you considerably more than you paid for it back in 1957, so get regular market valuations for expensive items.
TRNC Liability insurance should include public liability cover of around Euro7,500,000, plus employer's liability (to cover any staff or hired help) of around the same figure.
North Cyprus: Holiday Home Insurance
If you own a property in North Cyprus, either used as a holiday home for friends and family, or rented out, you must have adequate insurance. Check your insurance company offers specific holiday home insurance, as ordinary residential policies will not cover any rented properties.
Again, make sure you are adequately covered for holiday let buildings insurance and contents insurance, based on a realistic cost of replacing any damaged goods with NEW replacements. (Some policies do replace old with new, but check your policy carefully.) For example, you may have bought a sofa second-hand or in a sale, but if a tenant wrecks it with red wine, replacing it could cost you a lot more. It is always better to overestimate!
Similarly, North Cyprus liability insurance should include public liability cover of around Euro7,500,000, to cover you if by any chance a tenant files a claim against you. With Northern Cyprus holiday apartments or villas, employer's liability is vital, to cover any cleaners, maintenance workers, gardeners or agents while they are on your property when you are not present, plus of course, your tenants.
Also check your North Cyprus rental home insurance covers emergency travel claims, in case you need to come to North Cyprus to deal with an emergency. Remember, you may not be able to stay in your property if it is damaged, so your TRNC insurance policy should cover the cost of alternative accommodation too.
Many UK holiday home insurance policies insist that water pipes and tanks systems are drained if the property is unoccupied and temperatures drop below 8 degrees. Luckily, in (largely) frost-free North Cyprus properties, this isn't a concern but check your holiday home insurance policy specifically excludes the TRNC from this clause, otherwise a claim against a burst pipe in the winter might be refused. Always let your insurance company know if you have central heating installed, and invest in a frost-protection system if you are away during the winter for long periods.
TRNC Deeds Legal Protection
Due to the unusual property deed situation in North Cyprus (see our TRNC Title Deeds page for a full explanation), you might want to take out legal protection against your North Cyprus property deeds, or kocan.
Also known as Title Land Indemnity insurance, policies are available for anyone who own land or property in North Cyprus. You are, in effect, insuring against a change of policy or court ruling over the status of land your property is built on. A few policies apply to any deed, whilst other policies only cover pre 1974 Turkish title deed and Pre 1974 Foreign title deed properties in Northern Cyprus.
'All deed' policies cover you if a claim is made against you, and you are required to pay compensation to any 'predecessor in title'. If your property becomes the subject of a restitution order, where you may lose your property, then your policy would compensate you up to a fixed guarantee level. However, with some guarantee levels quoted at £50,000, this sum will not necessarily cover the purchase cost of your property. TRNC solicitors have indicated to Cyprus44 that not many home-owners actually take up this type of insurance.
Your Home in North Cyprus: Other Insurance
Apart from home and contents insurance, you should also consider;
- car insurance
- boat insurance (if you have one)
- pet insurance
- private health insurance
Property Insurance in North Cyprus: Read the Small Print!
Always take time to read any policy and Key Facts documents in full before taking out any insurance, to ensure your policy covers the full cost of what you wish to insure - and its replacement.