Owning your own vacation home has many advantages. Whether you use it year-round, all summer, or only on weekends, you want your vacation home to be as well-protected and well-cared for as your primary residence. This applies to more than just maintenance and upkeep; it means having the right insurance coverage.
If your vacation home is often unoccupied, or if you frequently rent or loan your home, understanding your insurance coverage will protect your home and preserve your relationships in the event of an accident when you’re not there.
- Make sure that a homeowners policy covering your primary residence extends liability coverage to your vacation or rental property. You may have to purchase a separate policy.
- Check the amount of liability insurance to make sure that you have adequate coverage. There is a higher risk of accidents associated with a rental property than with your own home.
- Consider purchasing extra liability insurance, also known as a Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP). This can increase the liability coverage on your home or auto up to $1 million or more.
- Check to see if you have proper coverage for hurricane or windstorm damage if you own a home near the coast. Many homeowners policies may provide limited coverage on hurricane damage, and may or may not provide windstorm protection.
- Call your insurance company for information on flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. Most homeowners policies do not provide flood coverage and the national program requires a thirty day waiting period before coverage takes effect.
- Don’t keep valuable items in your rental property or vacation home.
- Provide helpful phone numbers and information for guests or renters (for example, trash pickup, beach stickers, appliance directions, and emergency numbers).
- Keep utilities on minimum coverage, even if you are gone for an extended period of time.
- Check on your property frequently, even if you have a management company rent or clean the property on a regular basis.
- Maintain a checklist of house contents.
- Make sure that walkways and stairs are free of clutter.
- Check porch and deck railings for loose boards.
- Check outside lighting and all electrical appliances.
A little vigilance and attention to detail will ensure that your vacation home is the pleasure you intend it to be. For more information, please contact us. We are happy to answer all your insurance questions.