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 

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