Insuring a Second Home: What You Need to Know
Whether you rent it out or use it as a vacation home, a second house tends to cost more to insure than a primary residence. In this article we explain why this is the case and offer a few suggestions for obtaining the best possible policy.
Why second homes cost more to insure
Higher premiums are typically quoted for second homes. This is usually due to one or more of the following issues:
• Vacancy. Often, second homes are vacant for long stretches of the year. This represents a risk for the insurer because it means that nobody is home to take action should a problem occur. For example, if a frozen pipe bursts and nobody is around to notice, the likely result is extensive water damage. Moreover, houses that are frequently vacant are at greater risk of being targeted by thieves.
• Remoteness. Many second homes are located in remote areas, often in the woods, on the coast or somewhere else off the beaten track. Charming as these locales are, they tend to be far from emergency services. As a result, they’re less well protected against fires and burglaries than houses in urban centres. Insures will factor this into the overall cost of coverage on the home.
• Natural disasters. If your second home is on a waterfront or in an area prone to hurricanes, tornados or other natural disasters, you can expect to pay a higher insurance premium for it.
• Renting. If you rent out your second home, there’s a risk that renters will damage your property or get injured on the premises. Claims resulting from such events aren’t covered under a standard home insurance policy. To protect yourself against financial loss in these circumstances, extra coverage is needed.
Purchasing second-home insurance
There are a few coverage options to look into when obtaining second-home insurance, including:
• Umbrella insurance. Umbrella insurance covers you in the event that a renter is injured in your home or damages your personal property.
• Extra coverage. If you leave your second home vacant for long stretches, there’s a higher risk of extensive damage, so ensure that you have ample coverage.
• Landlord insurance. If your home is strictly a rental, obtaining landlord insurance will not only cover you for any damage caused by renters, it will also compensate you for lost rental income if the house is made unlivable.
Additionally, it’s useful to keep in mind that installing a central alarm system can earn you an insurance discount.
Second-home insurance in Nova Scotia
To find affordable insurance in Nova Scotia customized to fit your needs, turn to the experienced brokers at Eisenhauer Insurance. For a free quote on second-home insurance, contact us today.