Today we tackle the nuances and what you need to know about getting your 2nd home insurance.
Having a Dream Vacation or Second Home
Houses are a significant investment. If you have one already, you are lucky. And if you can purchase that second home you have been dreaming about, you are blessed. Most Americans dream of owning a second home near the beach or the countryside. It can serve as a vacation home whenever you need a break from city life, a change of scenery, or earn a little income if you plan to rent it out as an AIRBNB, VRBO, or vacation rental.
Like your first house, having a second home is a significant investment and a responsibility. Naturally, you want to protect your second home and everything inside. If you have home insurance for your first home, you need 2nd home insurance for your vacation home.
What is 2nd Home Insurance?
2nd home insurance covers another property that is not your primary residence. It is the same as your primary home insurance, covering your property and possession from fire, theft, and disaster-related damages. It also has personal liability coverage for injuries caused by accidents in your home.
But since a second home is not lived in full time, it is more prone to burglaries, fire, and other threats to homes. This would make a second home riskier to insure and cost higher than your primary home insurance.
Factors That Affect The Cost of 2nd Home Insurance
The location of your second home is the most critical factor. You may need additional coverage if it is located near the beach or in a flood-prone area. The heightened threat of hurricanes and storm surges makes it riskier to insure. A property in a mountainous area is at risk of damage due to wildfire. These locations will significantly impact the cost of premiums and sometimes require a higher deductible.
- Type of Property
The type of home you purchase will also impact the cost of your premium. A beachfront property will cost more than a condominium in a resort. A small cabin in the woods can cost more than a resort condominium. This is because condominiums have property managers or homeowners associations that may provide security.
- Age and Condition
An old home with little maintenance will cost more to insure than a brand-new house.
Features of the house have a significant impact on premium costs. You will need to pay more if you have a swimming pool, sauna, bathtub, and all accident-prone amenities.
- How Often the Home Occupied or Lived In
How often you go to your second home or how much it is lived in also affects the price of your premium.
What Does Second Home Insurance Cover?
The type of coverage for your second home usually covers:
This pays for repairing and rebuilding your home’s physical structure. Damages due to fire, smoke, explosion, theft, vandalism, and falling objects are just some of the events on the list.
Also known as coverage B, this policy covers structures within your property other than the house itself. Any structure with a space between it and your main house is considered another. This includes:
- Swimming pool
- Detached garage
- Personal Property
Any possession or belongings you have are covered by second home insurance. It includes things like:
- Mobile Phones
- Sports Gear and Others
- Personal Liability
This covers medical and legal expenses when someone makes a claim or sues you for bodily injuries or property damages. That is, if you are legally responsible or liable for the injury or damage. For example, if a pizza delivery guy tripped while walking to your front porch because he was texting, you are not liable for his carelessness. But if he tripped because of your slippery driveway, you can be held responsible.
Loss of Use
If your home is damaged and uninhabitable while being repaired or rebuilt, loss of use will pay for additional living expenses. You can reimburse for:
- Place Rental
- Storage and More
- Medical Payments
This coverage is for when someone gets injured at your home, regardless of who is at fault. It helps pay for the following:
- Hospital bills
- Dental services
- Prosthetic Devices
- Funeral expenses in case of death
How to Save on Second Home Insurance
If you are close to buying your second home, consider the following to save on home insurance:
- Avoid high-risk areas. Steer clear of houses that are located in disaster-prone areas.
- Buy newer houses. Vacation houses that are old and need repair will cost more to insure.
- Consider buying a home with HOA or a homeowner’s association. HOA will add security to your property
But if you have already bought one, you can still lower your second home insurance by:
- Installing a central security system like a burglar alarm and smoke detectors
- Bundling your second home insurance with your primary home insurance
- Asking for quotations from other insurers. You may get a better deal if you get it from another insurer than bundling it with your primary home insurance.
- The remaining is claim-free. A relatively free claim record can get you additional discounts.
Other Coverage You May Need to Purchase with Your Home Insurance
Even if you plan on using your second home as a vacation house, basic second-home insurance might not be enough to protect your property. There are other coverages you may need to complement your standard insurance.
Floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes are oftentimes not included in standard second-home insurance. The need for flood insurance will depend on the location of your property. Talk to your agent before deciding to purchase this coverage.
This coverage acts as extra insurance when your policies’ existing limits and coverages are insufficient. It protects you and your assets from unforeseen liabilities and suits.
- Hidden Water Damage Insurance
Damages did by hidden water leaks in walls, ceilings, or floors. Very seldom do people purchase this coverage because they are unaware it exists. This is different from the water damage generally covered by home insurance.
Renting Out Your Second Home
If you plan to rent out your second home, short-term or long-term, you must tell your insurer and purchase additional coverages to protect you and your property. Several types of insurance can safeguard you from out-of-pocket expenses:
Your second home insurance will not protect you if you plan to rent out your second home to a person for an extended period of time. You will need landlord insurance which will cover the following:
- Property Damage – covers for damages to your home caused by fire, theft, and other natural disasters
- Liability Insurance – covers medical costs, legal fees, and other settlements if your tenant or visitor is injured on your property due to poor maintenance.
- Lost Rental Income – income lost if your home is damaged and uninhabitable will be reimbursed for this type of coverage.
If you rent out your property frequently for short periods of time, it will already be considered a business, thus requiring you to have a business insurance policy. There are different types of business insurance, and you can ask your insurance agent which type is the best for your rental property.
Most landlords require renter’s insurance from their tenants because landlord insurance does not cover the personal possessions of their renter. It is up to the tenant to purchase their own insurance for financial protection. A renter’s insurance typically covers the following:
- Personal possessions
Provides coverage for the cost to repair or replace your belongings, furniture, electronics, and other personal possessions
Helps cover for injuries and damage to properties of visitors
- Additional Living Expenses
Helps with the bills incurred when the rental house is deemed uninhabitable or is undergoing reconstruction. This will include temporary hotel bills, groceries, and food.
Whether you bought a second home as a vacation house or as an investment, you must keep it protected, just like your primary residence. Second-home insurance will help you from financial losses in an accident or disaster. It will protect your property and your possessions.
And if you are looking for a great agent to guide you in the process, contact Advantage Insurance Solutions (AIS) here in Denver, CO. They are a team of dedicated and knowledgeable service professionals who can find you the best coverage for all your insurance needs. Contact us at our hotlines, or you can send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org