Owning a vacation home is a great privilege but it comes with added responsibilities as well. The risks associated with a vacation home are different than that of a primary home and it’s important to discuss those risks with your insurance professional. A few examples of the differences between homeowners insurance and vacation home insurance could include short term renting, temporary vacancy, proximity to the ocean or other bodies of water, and remote areas where fire station response is limited. So, what can be done to make sure you’re getting a competitive rate on your vacation home.
Install a Security System
Installing a security system is paramount. Insurance companies want you to have a updated smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector, but if one of those battery-operated systems goes off with no one around, the damage will be done before emergency responders get to your home. A hard-wired or wireless security system attached to a monitoring station will ensure the police or fire department can get to your home much faster. Many insurance companies give discounts for having monitored systems.
Upgrade the Structure
Homes that have not been updated recently can pose a problem in terms of getting the most competitive insurance rates and coverages. Make sure your vacation home has a strong roof, up-to-date electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC equipment if possible. Old roofs leak. Old wiring can become faulty. Updated systems are safer and more efficient and will allow your insurance carrier to give you a better rate.
Take Advantage of Other Discounts
Look for other discount opportunities, just as you would for your primary home. Does your insurance company offer a discount for bundling all of your insurance policies with the same company? Do you get additional discounts for being a loyal customer (staying with the same company for a certain number of years), for not smoking, or for being a senior citizen?
Ask your insurance professional to help you compare quotes from different companies. Even the location of your home (the shore versus the mountains) can have a huge impact on your rate, and different companies may offer significant savings, even if it means breaking your vacation insurance away from your bundle and placing it elsewhere.