Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Vacation Home Insurance


   After all, you aren't there all the time. You don't have nearly as much personal property there. Do you really need to insure it? Yes. Yes you do.

 You're right, you aren't there all the time. If no one is there, how will anyone notice a leak? Or catch a fire before it blazes out of control? What if you get burglarized? Chances are no one will be there to prevent or at least handle these situations on a timely basis. This means the damage could be much worse than it would have been if someone lived there full time. These are high risks you don't want to pay for on your own. 

   Many vacation homes are in rural or beach areas. Let's say you are there when one of those situations occurs, but the fire /police departments are miles away and they take 30 minutes to get there. A fire can destroy an entire home in that amount of time. A leak can destroy your entire flooring. A burglar can empty your home. These are a high risks you don't want to pay for on your own. 

   What if you rent it out or let friends/family stay there when you are not there?  Somone trips over a rug and breaks their leg. Or someone starts a fire in the kitchen and can't get it out. You can be liable for injuries and or damages, even if you are not there. These are high risks you don't want to pay for on your own.

   You have worked hard to buy that secondary home for your family to enjoy. If something happens, you want to make sure you have adequate coverage for that vacation home, just like you do for your primary home. 

Just like your primary home insurance, there are many optional coverages and many carriers to choose from. Talk to your agent and work through what you want and need in coverage. Most primary home policies will not extend much coverage to a secondary property. So you will need a separate policy for your vacation home.

There are few options I urge you to consider.

Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP): This is an extra Liability policy that will pick up where your home/auto policies stop. So if you have a liability claim of $500,000 and you only have $300,000 in Liability coverage on your secondary home policy, your PUP will kick in and cover the rest. The more properties, cars and toys (boats, motorcycles...) you have, the higher the premium will be for the PUP. But the added coverage can be a financial life saver.

Fair Rental Income: If you are renting out your secondary home, I highly recommend this coverage. If the home becomes uninhabitable (therefore un-rentable) due to a covered loss, you can be paid the rents you would lose during the time it takes to repair the damage. 

Coverge Amount: As I explained up above, you are more likely to have extensive damage from a fire, leak or burglary because you are not there full time. Make sure you have enough dwelling coverage to cover a total loss. Don't go cheap because you don't use the home as often. You need complete coverage because of the lack of time you spend there. 

Every carrier is a different in what they will/will not cover, what type of policies they will/will not write. So, I wouldn't get your heart set on "bundling" by trying to make sure your secondary home policy is with the same carrier as your primary home policy. That is not always an option (your primary home carrier may not even write secondary homes). Sometimes they won't have the best rate. So be open to the quotes your agent offers you. Of course, if you are with a captive carrier, you won't have many options. Again- I urge you to find an independent agent and see what they have to offer. 

Have other questions? Need a quote?


* Call  877-987-8683 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Boat Insurance Basics

Who is ready to sail away?

It's only a few weeks until summer officially begins. 

The pandemic has dictated new rules and regulations around questions like Am I allowed to take my boat out? What is safe? What does social distancing look like? For those who are planning to go boating, take a look at this article by Discover Boating: Boating during Covid-19.

Whether you are going boating this summer or not, 
                           your insurance coverage is important!

   Watercraft insurance coverage goes beyond the scope of a standard home or auto policy to include Roadside Assistance, which covers towing of your boat or personal watercraft for free, as long as your trailer is covered; On-Water Towing, in case you're stranded on the water; and Uninsured Boaters coverage. Many carriers have additional coverage like Fuel Spill Liability and Wreckage Removal, even Pet injury. Without watercraft insurance coverage, you may end up getting stuck with the bill for cleanups and removals. Personal Effects and Fishing Equipment coverage are also available. They do not come as basic coverage on all watercraft policies, so make sure you talk to your agent about your coverage. When you file a claim is NOT the best time to find out you were not covered when you thought you were!
   Most carriers have several available discounts also, similar to auto policies. If you are a homeowner, have good driving history (no tickets/accidents), if you are the original owner, if you pay in full, if you have taken a safety course. Each carrier is different so be sure to talk with your agent about what you may qualify for.

   Summer is a great time to have fun out on the lake. Make sure you are protected through your insurance policy. But also make sure you are following boating safety processes also. Did you know someone is injured or killed in a boating accident every 2 1/2 hours? The chance of drowning while wearing a life jacket is 1 in 66. The chance of drowning while not wearing a life jacket is 1 in 11.  These statistics, along with great boating safety advice can be found through the US Coast Guard's Boating Safety Resource Center.

Have a great summer And Be Safe Out There!

Have other questions? Need a quote?

    * Call us  877-987-8683  
    * Visit