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If you own a summer home, it's important to insure it properly. Shopping for vacation home insurance can seem difficult because the coverage you'll need will vary depending on your individual circumstances. However, most agents can amend a standard policy to meet your specific needs. Below are a few common vacation home concerns and why you should discuss them with your insurance agent.

If Your Home Is a Seasonal Getaway

If you have a summer home that is sometimes vacant, it's important to let your agent know. After your home is empty for 30 to 60 days, a typical home insurance policy may not cover the property. Insurance agents can amend your policy to make sure that your house is covered if they know that you do not regularly visit your summer home.

Keep in mind that an empty house may cost more to insure. Also, whether or not you leave furniture and other belongings in your home may affect how it's classified. If the house is empty, it can be deemed vacant. However, if it's still furnished it may be considered unoccupied. This distinction can be important when making an insurance claim, so be explicit when discussing your plans for your home with your agent.

If You Sometimes Rent Your Vacation Home

If you rent your vacation home while you're not using it, it's important to tell your agent. Your insurance premium will often go up because insurance companies believe your house is at greater risk for damage. However, if your house used to be vacant, some insurers will actual lower the premium if you begin to rent the property. You can also get a discount on your premium if you rent the home unfurnished because your insurance policy will not need to cover the contents of the home.

Now that you're renting your summer home, you should also strongly consider an umbrella policy to increase your liability limits. Therefore, if your tenant has an accident and decides to sue, you will have more protection. Additional medical payment and bodily injury insurance should be considered, too.

If You Own a Second Home With Another Family

If you've decided to split the costs of a vacation home, it's important to have the names of all of the people on the deed on your home insurance policy. To ensure that the premiums are paid when due and other financial responsibilities are met, consider drafting a joint ownership agreement. An umbrella policy can also further protect your personal assets if an accident occurs.

Applying for Coverage

Once you know who and how you'll be using your second home, it's time to talk to an insurance agent. Keep in mind that earthquakes and floods are not covered in typical policies, so you may need to purchase additional insurance depending on your home's location. To talk about your Flint vacation home insurance needs, call 1-800-530-9225.

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WEDNESDAY, JULY 24 2013 7:43 AM

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Security First Insurance Agency
3526 Miller Road
Flint, MI 48507
P: 810-732-5800
F: 810-732-4154

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