Insurance Considerations for Your Vacation Home or Cabin
If you are lucky enough to own a seasonal lake home, cabin or other vacation property, it is probably your favorite getaway. And there is no doubt that your second property also is a valuable financial asset. But your home-away-from-home can fall victim to weather, fire or crime. What’s more, visitors that you invite to share your property with you can be injured while they are there.
You need seasonal home insurance for your lake home or cabin to experience true peace of mind.
What is Seasonal Home Insurance?
Seasonal home insurance is a separate policy from your primary homeowners insurance. You need it to protect your vacation home and its contents from storm damage, fire, lightning, burglary and vandalism. In addition, you need liability coverage to protect you from claims against you that arise from injuries to other parties on your property.
Seasonal home insurance can sometimes cost more than the insurance for your primary residence, especially if your cabin is located in a remote area. In addition, if the second residence is left unoccupied for months at a time, it is more susceptible to crime as well as fire and water damage. Each situation is different and the coverage you need will depend upon your circumstances. If you rent your home out to others or the home is in a coastal or flood-prone area, you likely will need additional coverage.
You can take steps to reduce your premiums by adding deadbolt locks, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and an alarm system to your vacation home.
Another consideration is the type of recreational equipment that you keep and use at your vacation property, particularly if it is on water. Boats, ATVs and other recreational equipment can make lake home owners especially susceptible to liability for injuries that occur on their properties. Your seasonal homeowners policy typically covers the physical dwelling and other structures (docks, boat houses) on the property, while your homeowners policy for your primary residence extends liability coverage to your lake home. However, considering the potential for injuries when ATVs, boats and other watercraft are involved, the liability coverage limit on your primary homeowners policy is probably not sufficient. Owners of seasonal homes should purchase umbrella insurance to increase their liability coverage. Personal umbrella insurance kicks in when the liability limit of your homeowners coverage has been reached.
Remember that you will also have to carry separate watercraft, ATV and snowmobile insurance if you have this type of equipment. These policies are similar to auto insurance policies, including coverage options for comprehensive, collision, bodily injury and property damage liability.
Considering the variety and types of coverage that you might need for your vacation home or cabin, you will likely be eligible for policy bundling opportunities and your insurance company’s multi-policy discount, if you keep all of your policies with one insurer. We can help you determine which insurance companies and policies are best suited for all of your insurance needs.
Do you have a vacation home or cabin? Do you need help making sure you have all of your insurance bases covered? First, call us. Then, get out on the lake and relax!