Seasonal Home Insurance for Your Lake Home or Cabin
If you are lucky enough to own a seasonal lake home, cabin or vacation property, you probably see it as the ultimate getaway for rest and relaxation. It also holds great financial value for you.
But your home-away-from-home can still be affected by bad weather, fire, injury or even crime. You need appropriate seasonal home insurance for your lake home or cabin to experience true peace of mind.
Seasonal home insurance is separate from your primary homeowners insurance policy. It protects your vacation home and possessions against storm damage (snow, rain, hail, wind, tornadoes, etc.), fire, lightning, burglary and vandalism. You also need liability coverage for losses that might arise from injuries to other parties on your property.
Insuring your lake home or cabin presents unique challenges. Is your vacation home in an area that experiences severe weather? The potential for flooding, tornadoes, winter storms, and forest fires must be considered. These perils can be of particular concern if the home is left vacant for long periods of time.
Seasonal home insurance might cost more than insurance for your primary residence, particularly if it is in a remote area. Since the home may be unoccupied for months at a time, it is more susceptible to theft, vandalism, fire and water damage. You can reduce your premiums by incorporating deadbolt locks, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and an alarm system.
Boats, ATVs and other recreational equipment can make lake home owners especially susceptible to liability for injuries that occur on their property. Your seasonal homeowners policy will typically cover the physical dwelling and other structures (docks, boat houses), while your homeowners policy for your primary residence extends liability coverage to your lake home. However, considering the potential for injuries when ATVs, boats and other watercraft are involved, the liability coverage limit on your primary homeowners policy is probably not sufficient. Owners of seasonal homes should purchase umbrella insurance to increase their liability coverage. Umbrella insurance kicks in when the limit of your homeowners liability coverage has been reached.
Remember that you’ll also have to carry separate watercraft, ATV and snowmobile insurance if you have this type of equipment. These policies are similar to auto insurance policies, including coverage options for comprehensive, collision, bodily injury and property damage liability.
Do you have a lake home, cabin, or other seasonal residence? Each situation is different. You will need to discuss your particular seasonal home with your insurance agent to ensure that you have all the right coverage. You may need additional coverage if you rent your home out to others or the home is in a coastal or flood-prone area.
Discuss all of your concerns with your agent to be sure you have the depth of coverage you need. Then, get out on the lake and relax!