July 29 2014 Latest news:

Anyone about to go on a lengthy holiday should carefully read the detail of their home insurance policy to make sure they are covered for their long break.

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Many policies carry clauses invalidating insurance if the property is left unoccupied for more than 30 days at a time.

While most of us will only enjoy a week or two away from home, those lucky enough to have longer trips booked need to be aware of the smallprint in their documents.

Often it is only a case of informing your insurer and the matter should be fairly easy to deal with, but ignore the issue at your peril.

Probably the most likely sets of people to be affected are the half a million Britons who choose to live abroad for part of the year, those considering taking a career break and those taking a gap year.

Some insurers only provide existing cover for unoccupied homes for a maximum of 30 days, while some cover properties for up to 60 days.

Don’t assume that buying a more expensive home insurance policy will guarantee longer cover.

Peter Harrison, insurance spokesperson at Moneysupermarket.com, said: “If you’re planning an extended trip this summer, whether soaking up the sun on holiday or embarking on a career break, it’s important to check the smallprint of your home insurance policy to ensure you will still be covered for the length of time you are away.

“Don’t assume you will be covered for the whole period; providers are very strict on how long a home can be left unoccupied for.

“If you are going to be jetting off for an extended period, informing your insurer that your home will be unoccupied is essential.”

Providers are likely to increase monthly premiums on a case by case basis for the duration of the trip.

You may be asked to place all items of value into storage.

Keep your home safe while unoccupied by making sure all items of value are away from windows and out of sight from opportunistic thieves.

Lock all windows and doors before leaving the house, regularly check the state of your locks, install a good home security system and use a timer on your light switches.

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