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Expect to pay more to insure a vacation home than your primary residence

Insurers view second homes as higher risk, because of their locations and the fact that they are not lived-in full time, experts say.

Expect to pay more to insure your vacation

Expect to pay more to insure your vacation home than your primary residence, experts say.  Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/kupicoo

Although a vacation home is all about R&R, that doesn’t mean there’s no work involved. Just like you have to insure your primary residence, your second digs need coverage too.

Here’s what you need to know.

How you use your house counts: If the home is just a vacation spot for your family and friends (meaning you don’t rent it out to others), it will most likely be considered a second home.  Weigh getting a full homeowners policy, separate from your primary residence. “You should definitely do so if you have a mortgage on your second property. However, be prepared to pay more than you do for your primary home, because many insurers view a house that isn’t lived in full-time as more susceptible to theft, damage and vandalism,” says Jason Hargraves, managing editor of insuranceQuotes.com in Austin.

If you rent out the home, consider getting a landlord policy or a special vacation rental policy.

If you rent through Airbnb, you can use Airbnb’s coverage. Know too, that some home insurance companies offer additional coverage for when you have an Airbnb guest. “This coverage increases your limits if a guest damages your home,” says J.C. Matthews, co-founder of SimplyInsurance.co.

What you’ll pay more for: What makes your home appealing, such as being near a beach or lake, probably puts it at higher risk for damage from flood or windstorms. Says Hargraves, “Expect to pay a high premium for insurance if you live close to the coast or near an area prone to floods. Also, it’s a smart idea to have flood insurance for these properties. Flood insurance is underwritten by the federal government but can be purchased through an insurance agent.”

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