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how to insure your vacation condo

Many people buy condos not as main residences, but as vacation getaways. And did you know this small difference can make a huge impact on your condo insurance? We'll give you tips to make sure your vacation condo gets the most appropriate coverage.

Can I cover 2 properties under one policy?

That depends largely on how you use your second property. Sometimes adding a vacation condo onto your standard home, condo, or renters policy is a savvy way to save. But some insurers may exclude your extra property (especially if you rent it out), or simply not offer the right coverage to protect it.

Make sure to talk with your insurer before making any decisions about adding a vacation condo to your policy.

Coverage suggestions for your vacation condo

From location to décor, there are a ton of differences between a condo you'd use as your main dwelling and a vacation condo. But what's the biggest difference? Well, simply put, you.

Unless you're extremely lucky, chances are you spend way less time in your getaway pad than your everyday residence. This means the amount and types of condo insurance you need on your seldom-visited vacation spot are likely different from what you're used to.

Here are some suggestions to help pinpoint the right amount of protection on your vacation condo:

Choose actual cash value for your personal property

When protecting your belongings with ordinary condo insurance, replacement cost coverage (RCC) — which replaces damaged items without factoring in depreciation — would offer the most security for your valuables.

In a vacation condo, however, you might not have the multiple flat screens, plush sofas, high-end jewelry, and full wardrobe to worry about. In which case, you might feel comfortable with actual cash value (ACV), which is usually more affordable than RCC. ACV does include depreciation when paying settlements, but if you're only insuring the bare essentials, it might not make much difference.

Consider named-peril coverage

Many people have all-peril coverage on their main homes, which offers insurance protection for every risk a company can possibly include. Because you spend less time at your vacation condo, though, there's a good chance you and your place are less at risk for many threats. By switching to named-peril coverage, you can choose the risks you want to be covered for, and make sure you're not paying for protection you'll likely never use.

Reexamine your deductible

You may feel your vacation condo is relatively safe from most insurance risks. If that's the case, increasing your deductible could be an easy way to possibly save on your monthly premium. This means you'd agree to pay more if a claim ever did arise, but it could be a chance well worth taking if your place is low-risk.

Other types of specialty condo insurance

Vacant condo insurance

A vacant condo is considered one left unattended usually for more than 30 or 60 days in a row. A vacant condo can be at risk for discontinued coverage unless you notify your insurer beforehand. By getting vacant condo insurance, you can rest easy that you still have protection from essential threats like fire or wind that could easily strike while you're away.

The good news is, because your HOA likely covers many damage and liability perils in the condo building itself, vacant condo insurance can often be surprisingly affordable.

Landlord insurance

If you make a living or supplement your income by renting out a condo, you'll want to explore landlord insurance instead of traditional condo insurance. Renting out a condo can make you responsible for injuries tenants sustain in your place or even the damage they cause there. Not to mention, if something catastrophic happens to your unit and it becomes uninhabitable, you could lose valuable income for long stretches of time.

Enjoy more peace of mind when renting out your condo by choosing landlord insurance. This protection can cover major perils and, depending on your insurer, possibly refund income you lose because of them.

Ready to see what kind of savings you can enjoy on your vacation condo? Grab a free condo insurance quote today!

Related links

Maintain your smoke alarms
Find out how to improve your vacation pad's fire safety — even when you're not around.

5 home security myths
Head to our blog for some myth-debunking regarding your home's security.

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