Whether a lakeside cabin or tropical bungalow, a second home provides a refreshing change of pace from your main residence. But one thing that doesn't vary is the need for insurance. While an Esurance policy only covers your primary house, we're happy to explain the unique risks that come with a second home so you can get help shopping for the right coverage.
can i cover 2 homes under one policy?
It's best to check with your insurer before making any decisions. An Esurance policy, for example, currently doesn't extend to second homes. Plus, depending on your provider, your standard home insurance might exclude certain properties (such as those used as rentals), or simply not offer the right types or amount of coverage.
In any event, having a separate policy specifically for second homes is usually a smart move. As you'll see below, your vacation home or second home will likely have some insurance hazards your main house doesn't. By creating a separate policy for this dwelling, you can tailor coverage options that make sense for your unqiue circumstances.
insurance risks of a second home
You're about to scoop up that second home. Life's pretty sweet, right? But it can turn sour in a snap if you're not prepared for the following home (away from home) insurance perils:
Long periods with no occupants
Most second homes are sporadically visited vacation pads. So how does that affect vacation home insurance? Well, a major risk is that there'll often be no one there to make sure fires get put out, leaks get stopped, burglaries get reported…you get the idea. Just about anything can happen in an empty house — and most of it isn't good.
In some cases, even if you are in your second home when an incident occurs, you're too secluded to get timely help. Think about the location of things like fire hydrants, emergency-supply stores, and police and fire departments when setting up your second-home policy.
Tenants and guests
If you rent out your second home occasionally, use it as a guesthouse, or keep it as an investment property, you could be liable for injuries to tenants and visitors or be left on the hook for damage they cause.
If you use your place only as a rental, you'll likely want landlord insurance vs. homeowners coverage.
tips for insuring your second home
Consider umbrella insurance
Umbrella coverage acts as secondary liability insurance in case a claim or lawsuit (say, from an injured tenant) exceeds your homeowners protection and threatens your assets.
Be prepared with enough coverage
If you're not around when a fire starts or a pipe bursts, imagine how far the damage can spread. And think about how vulnerable to burglary your belongings are in an unoccupied place.
Having enough dwelling coverage, contents insurance, and guest medical protection can offer peace of mind when you don't know what's going on in your extended property.
Think about fair rental income protection
If you rent out a second home, you may want to contact your insurer to inquire about this coverage. In the case that a covered loss like a hailstorm or explosion leaves your rental space uninhabitable, fair rental income insurance could help reimburse you for the lost revenue.
how to save on second home insurance
The following pointers could nab you a reduced premium on your hideaway's coverage:
- Install a central alarm system for fire and burglary
- Buy property that's near a water source
- Look for discounts with your insurer, maybe for having safety features or for paying your premium on time
Want even more homeownership tips? Although we don't insure second homes, Esurance is all about helping residents sharpen their knowledge, no matter their dwelling type. Head to our Info Center for useful tidbits all homeowners can use.
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