Insurance for vacation homes
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Standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for the physical structure of your home and the personal belongings inside as well as detached structures like a garage. However, home insurance policies only cover one home. If you have a vacation home, you will likely need to purchase an additional homeowners insurance policy for that property.
Vacation home insurance is another name for secondary home insurance, a type of policy that offers coverage for second homes, like a cabin in the mountains or a beachside bungalow. Vacation home insurance is similar to traditional homeowners insurance, but your vacation home insurance is a separate policy from your primary homeowners policy.
How much does vacation home insurance cost?
The cost of homeowners insurance, including vacation home insurance, depends on a variety of factors. The national average annual premium for vacation home insurance is $2,014 with $250,000 in dwelling coverage, but your premium could be higher or lower based on where your home is located, your other rating factors and your coverage choices.
When you apply for a policy, the insurance company will consider factors like the state where the home is located, the condition of the home, the type of home and your claims history to calculate your premium. Your credit rating and ZIP code may also be used to determine how much you pay, although some states ban the use of these rating factors. As with standard home insurance, the amount of coverage you select and your deductible will also impact your premium.
Vacation home insurance premiums by state
Seasonal home insurance rates vary by state. The table below includes the average annual cost of secondary homeowners insurance in all 50 states:
|State||Average annual premium for $250,000 dwelling coverage|
What does secondary home insurance cover?
Secondary home insurance and traditional home insurance may have some overlap in coverage, but keep in mind that these are two separate policies. When you purchase a vacation property, you will need a separate policy to cover that home. Here is a brief overview of what secondary home insurance typically covers:
- Dwelling coverage: This coverage applies to the physical structure of your home. If you have a named perils policy, your home is covered for the types of damage specifically listed in the policy. Open perils policies cover your property for any peril that isn’t specifically excluded.
- Other structures coverage: Other structures coverage pays for repairs or replacement if your detached garage, fence, shed or other detached structure gets damaged in a covered event.
- Personal property coverage: Personal property coverage pays to replace your personal belongings, like clothing, furniture and appliances, if they get damaged or destroyed by a covered peril.
- Loss of use coverage: Loss of use coverage, also called additional living expenses coverage, may pay for hotel bills, parking fees, restaurant meals, laundry and other expenses if your is damaged in a covered event and you have to temporarily relocate.
- Personal liability coverage: Personal liability coverage pays if someone gets injured at your home and you are found at fault or if you cause damage to someone else’s property. Liability coverage may also cover legal fees if the victim sues you.
- Medical payments coverage: Medical payments coverage is designed to cover the cost of a guest’s medical bills if they get injured on your property, but you’re not legally liable to cover their injuries.
Other coverage types to consider
While vacation home insurance may financially protect you from a variety of potential perils, second home insurance does not cover everything. In fact, certain losses, including floods and earthquakes, are explicitly excluded from most standard primary and secondary home insurance policies. As a result, you might need to purchase additional coverage.
For example, if you own a vacation home near the beach or on a lake, your home may be vulnerable to flood damage. Purchasing a separate flood insurance policy could protect your finances if a flood causes extensive damage to your home or property. If you own a home in an area where earthquakes are common, getting earthquake insurance may be beneficial.
If it is available and your home qualifies, you may also want to ask about replacement cost coverage for your home and personal belongings. With replacement cost, you would receive the full cost to replace your destroyed belongings or home, rather than an amount with depreciation taken out.
Ways to save on vacation home insurance
Seasonal home insurance may be pricey depending on where you live and what type of home you own. However, there are ways you might save money on your policy. Here are some suggestions that may help you get cheap homeowners insurance:
- Get multiple quotes: Before choosing an insurance provider, you may want to shop around and get homeowners insurance quotes from several carriers. That way, you can see which provider may offer the lowest rate for the amount of coverage you need.
- Bundle with your home insurance company: If your home insurance company also offers vacation property insurance, you may be able to qualify for extra savings on both policies if you choose to insure both properties with the same carrier. This discount may also apply to auto insurance bundles.
- Look for discounts: A majority of property insurance companies offer discounts that may help you save money on your policy. As you are shopping around, consider looking for providers that have discounts you can qualify for, like being claims-free or purchasing a policy online. As vacation homes are often targeted by theft, installing security systems or subscribing to a 24-hour monitoring service could qualify you for discounts.
What insurance do I need if I rent out my vacation home?
Many people choose to rent out their vacation home to make some extra income while they are staying at their primary residence. However, keep in mind that renting out your home on platforms like Airbnb will likely have additional insurance requirements.
In this situation, the best thing to do is likely to talk to your insurance company. You may need to purchase a short-term or long-term rental insurance policy to cover any potential gaps in coverage, depending on how long the property is rented for. You might be able to add an endorsement to your policy to cover your property as a vacation rental, but you’ll likely need a standalone rental property insurance policy.
Frequently asked questions
The best second home insurance provider may be different for everyone. Factors like where you live, features of the home you own, the type of coverage you need and your budget may all impact which carrier is right for you. Getting quotes from several providers could help you decide.
Especially if you are a first-time home insurance buyer, you may be wondering how much coverage you need. The amount of home insurance you buy likely depends on your circumstances, but as a general rule, insurance experts suggest that you buy enough dwelling insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your home back to its original condition if it were destroyed. You may also want to purchase enough personal property insurance to cover the full value of your and your family’s belongings. Finally, you could pick your liability coverage limit based on your personal financial assets that could be at stake in the event of a lawsuit.
The cost of vacation home insurance usually depends on your usage of the property and unique situation. The location of your property, how often you use it and whether you rent it out may all affect your insurance coverage needs and pricing. For the best vacation home insurance, you might consider what you want to do with the home and speak with your insurance agent to build a comprehensive insurance policy.
It might. If you have a lake home, you may have a boat, jet ski, canoes, kayaks or other water toys. You might even have a dock or boat lift on your property. The best course of action is likely to discuss these features with your insurance agent. You might be able to add insurance coverage for boats, personal watercraft, a dock or a boat lift to your policy, or you may need a separate policy for some items.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 40-year-old male and female homeowners with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:
- Coverage A, Dwelling: $250,000
- Coverage B, Other Structures: $25,000
- Coverage C, Personal Property: $125,000
- Coverage D, Loss of Use: $50,000
- Coverage E, Liability: $300,000
- Coverage F, Medical Payments: $1,000
The homeowners also have a $1,000 deductible and a separate wind and hail deductible (if required). For vacation homes, rates were calculated based on secondary occupancy.
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes will differ.