There are more than 3.6 million vacation homes and condominiums in the U.S. used on a seasonal basis, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. These homes, just like a primary residence, need insurance to protect the home and the homeowner. However, in contrast to a primary residence, each vacation homeowner uses their second residence differently. So, the insurance needs of each vacation homeowner will also be different. Below are a few important factors to consider in order to make the most of the insurance coverage for your vacation home.
Cost of Vacation Home Insurance
While the underwriting factors used to price insurance are similar for a vacation home and a primary home, the cost of insurance for a vacation home can typically be more than insurance for a primary residence. This is because insurers consider the risks associated with a vacant home as higher than the risks associated with owning a primary home, even if it is vacant for only part of the year. If a vacant vacation home sustains minor property damage, such as a small fire or a broken window, it could quickly become a major claim simply because no one is in the residence to respond to the problem.
FITZ TIP: A vacation homeowner can implement several strategies to minimize premium, such as installing an alarm system or, for coastal homes, implementing hurricane resistant shutters.
Since many vacation homeowners rent out their home during either a part of or all of the year, a landlord insurance or commercial policy may be needed depending on the frequency and length of rentals. Insurance companies view the risk of loss differently for third parties in the home for an extended period. If the insurance company does not know about the vacation home rental arrangements, then they could deny coverage in the event of a claim. In addition to covering property damage and liability, a landlord policy will cover loss of income due to damage sustained by a covered peril. This coverage is helpful if you are not able to rent your home out following a fire that damaged your home.
Other Coverages to Consider
A basic homeowners insurance policy will cover typical hazards associated with fire and storms; however, depending on the location of your vacation home and its intended use, you may need to consider additional coverages. Below are two examples:
- Flood Insurance – a typical home insurance policy does not cover damages from rising water such as floods. This is important for coastal homes where storm surge is a risk. This coverage is also important in other flood prone areas.
- Earthquake Insurance – homes in areas where earthquakes are a known risk should consider an earthquake policy to protect their home. A typical homeowners policy will not respond to damage caused by an earthquake.
Vacation homes are special places to many people where lasting memories are born. Properly covering a vacation home is important to ensuring each home is around to create memories for generations to come. After considering these important insurance factors, feel free to reach out to us so we can help you determine what insurance is best for your vacation home. As a Trusted Choice Independent Agency, the Oswego-based FitzGibbons Agency is here to help you in this review.
Have further questions? Just Ask Fitz!
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Oswego, New York 13126