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Insurance for vacation homes: what you need to know

Updated Feb 07, 2024

Standard home insurance policies only cover one home. If you have a vacation home, you will 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 properties like a cabin in the mountains or a beachside bungalow.

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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 $1,687 for a policy with $250,000 in dwelling coverage, but your premium could be higher or lower based on where your home is located, your coverage choices and your personal rating factors.

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

The cost of insurance for a second home varies in each state. Analyzing average rates may help you budget for your vacation home or inform where you decide to purchase one. To give you an idea of what you might pay for coverage in each state, we analyzed average rate data from Quadrant Information Services.

The table below includes the average annual cost of secondary homeowners insurance in all 50 states for homes with $250,000 in dwelling coverage:

State
Average annual premium for $250,000 dwelling coverage
Alabama $1,632
Alaska $1,027
Arizona $1,767
Arkansas $2,649
California $1,217
Colorado $3,030
Connecticut $1,554
Delaware $739
Florida $1,884
Georgia $1,680
Hawaii $400
Idaho $980
Illinois $1,802
Indiana $1,461
Iowa $1,601
Kansas $3,932
Kentucky $2,194
Louisiana $2,816
Maine $1,127
Maryland $1,334
Massachusetts $1,237
Michigan $1,720
Minnesota $2,118
Mississippi $1,943
Missouri $1,784
Montana $2,100
Nebraska $4,561
Nevada $1,057
New Hampshire $808
New Jersey $881
New Mexico $2,094
New York $1,680
North Carolina $1,374
North Dakota $2,453
Ohio $1,260
Oklahoma $4,376
Oregon $922
Pennsylvania $936
Rhode Island $1,395
South Carolina $1,202
South Dakota $2,366
Tennessee $2,089
Texas $2,114
Utah $904
Vermont $677
Virginia $1,103
Washington $1,106
Washington, D.C. $1,156
West Virginia $1,125
Wisconsin $991
Wyoming $986

What does secondary home insurance cover?

Secondary home insurance and standard home insurance typically include similar coverage types, but the type of home insurance policy you buy for your second home will likely depend on the home’s characteristics and your coverage needs. If you are purchasing an HO-3 policy for your vacation home, here is a brief overview of what secondary home insurance typically covers:

  • Dwelling coverage: This provides coverage for the physical structure of your home to repair or rebuild it following a covered peril.
  • Other structures coverage: Other structures coverage helps pay 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 helps pay 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 help pay for hotel bills, parking fees, restaurant meals, laundry and other expenses if your home is damaged in a covered event and you have to temporarily relocate.
  • Personal liability coverage: Personal liability coverage helps pay 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 may 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 factored in.

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 to see which provider can offer the lowest rate for the amount of coverage you need.
  • Bundle home insurance with other insurance products: 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 might 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

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Contributor, Insurance

Elizabeth Rivelli is a contributing insurance writer for Bankrate and has years of experience writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others

Edited by Editor, Insurance