Insurance for Your Second Home

Owning a second home can sometimes mean facing unusual insurance circumstances. Take the situation that Todd, a homeowner from Florida, recently learned about.
He and some friends visited Breckenridge, Colorado and loved the area so much, they set a few appointments to look at homes for sale in the area. “We were meeting a realtor in the morning, and I walked out to our SUV, which was in the driveway. I first noticed several trails of dirt that ran the length of the car, which didn’t make any sense—it hadn’t rained overnight or anything like that. Then I saw a huge paw print high on the back window, and I kind of freaked out—it had to have been a bear,” he said. “A BIG bear.”

A quick check of the area confirmed that the bear was gone, and the dirt on the vehicle rinsed off easily. But his realtor later confirmed that bears looking for food sometimes cause what can be severe property damage to cars and homes in the area. “Not something I would have thought of before, coming from Fort Lauderdale,” Todd laughed. “But it’s on my radar now.”

Bear damage is unusual, but it illustrates one of the reasons that you should have high-quality second home insurance—the location of many vacation homes can make them candidates for an insurance claim. Whether it’s due to wildlife like bears, weather (think hurricane-prone areas) or topography (such as a vacation home in a forest that may be subject to wildfires), the same rugged or raw landscape that makes a location desirable can add an element of potential danger.

Another reason to purchase good vacation home insurance is that an unoccupied home can suffer extraordinary damage from an ordinary incident. For example, if a pipe leaks at your main residence or the sewer or drain backs up, odds are good that you’ll notice it before there is a catastrophe. But in a structure that is unattended for a period of time, that same leak or backup could mean ruined floors, mold in the walls and destroyed furnishings.

A third reason is that you may have increased liability concerns. Jet skis, ATVs, golf carts, motorboats…having “toys” at a vacation home means your family or friends could be injured. You’ll want to be sure you have adequate liability protection in order to protect them and you if an accident occurs.

Kelly Klee can quote second home insurance from several companies that offer attractive policies. For example, Encompass offers a homeowners policy that covers multiple dwellings; you’ll pay one premium to cover your main residence, second home, third home, etc. This comprehensive policy covers everything from the cost to rebuild and replace your belongings up to 200% of the value of each dwelling to landscape and land restoration coverage.

Nationwide Private Client insurance offers another alternative. You can either take out a separate policy for your second home or, if you are only concerned with liability at our vacation home and not the structure itself, you can extend the liability on your primary homeowners policy to cover liability at your second home or increase the coverage limit for personal property at that residence.

In the end, the near-miss with a bear did not dissuade Todd, who did purchase a home outside Breckenridge with a large deck overlooking a mountain range. “It’s worth it to be somewhere so beautiful. I’ve already researched bear-proof garbage cans,” he said.

If you would like a quote on second home insurance from Kelly Klee, call us at 844.885.1600 or click here. We’ll offer a variety of solutions so you can choose the one that best meets your needs.

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