Business tycoon Richard Branson has talked of his relief that none of the people staying at his holiday home in the Caribbean were harmed in a recent fire – among them his 90 year old mother. It is believed to have been started by a bolt of lightning from a tropical storm, and has consumed much of the building’s structure.

Among the guests staying at Branson’s retreat was the actress Kate Winslet, who assisted in getting the Virgin boss’s mother to safety. On his blog Sir Richard quipped: “she was wondering when a Director was going to shout CUT!"

He continued: "It's very much the Dunkirk spirit here. We will rebuild the house as soon as we can… currently just huddled up with family and friends in the continuing tropical storm realising what really matters in life."

The holiday home was built 30 years ago on Necker Island and bore all the hallmarks of state of the art luxury. While it is likely that Richard Branson had holiday home insurance on his property, it is a reminder to those owning any second home property to maintain a good level of insurance. Unlikely as it is that a holiday home would be struck by lightning in a such a manner, it does demonstrate the range of mishaps that can befall a property. It is also a reminder to ensure that the type of holiday home insurance property owners purchase take into consideration local-specific issues (especially weather related ones) that might put a building at risk.