When you own a second home, you are expanding your living space to include a change of scenery or a quiet getaway. Along with your country home or sunny retreat from cold winters, however, comes a whole new set of responsibilities — another dwelling to furnish, clean, weatherproof, stock with food, and insure. At Blue Lion Insurance Advisors, LLC, we are adept at providing risk management and customized insurance for second homes to clients in Red Bank, New Jersey, and throughout Monmouth County.
Second homes require specialized knowledge of how risk management works. Because you only occupy your second home some of the time, and therefore don’t always have access to it, it is all the more important to have an experienced insurance advisor to guide you. Your second home is valuable, not only in terms of economic investment but as a gathering place for you and your loved ones. Our skilled insurance advisors can help you protect your second home for years of enjoyment and as a legacy for future generations of your family. Please contact one of our experienced insurance advisors using the convenient contact form on the side of the page so that we can help you find the right insurance policy today.
Factors To Consider When Managing Risk at Your Second Home
It’s important to remember that the risk factors at your second home may not be identical (or, in some cases, even similar) to those at your primary residence. Consider the following:
How often is your second home occupied?
Risk management depends a great deal on how frequently your second home is occupied by you, family members, friends, or tenants. Insurance companies generally assume that there is far less probability of a big loss when someone is on the premises to tend to a leak or other small problem that might, left unobserved, lead to disaster.
What type of residence is your second home?
Though so far we have discussed a second home as an extension (however distant) of the family residence, there are several other reasons for purchasing and carefully insuring your second residence, each carrying a different set of risks. These include:
- Investment property
- Home under construction or major renovation
- Long-term rental property
- Short-term rental
Depending on which type of residence your second home is, its insurance requirements can vary widely. While investment property may be unoccupied entirely, rentals may have tenants most of the time and can be considered businesses. Although being occupied lessens the risk of an unnoticed potential catastrophe, it may increase the risk of carelessness on the part of the tenants who do not feel responsible for maintaining property they do not own. Homes under construction or major renovation have the added risk of being vandalized or having valuable building materials stolen.
How do insurance companies determine the risks at your second home?
Risk management assessments vary among insurance companies which makes it critical to have a capable insurance advisor who can review your best options. At Blue Lion Insurance Advisors, LLC, we know the factors insurance companies take into account when determining your insurance options and are familiar with each company’s method of assessment. These include:
- Occupancy, as discussed above
- Environmental conditions, such as susceptibility to flooding, wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and sinkholes
- Proximity to water sources for extinguishing fire (e.g. fire departments and fire hydrants)
- Any conditions that make it harder to access the premises during an emergency (e.g. gating, winding mountain roads, unpaved road surfaces)
- Your own personal insurance claim history since one claim often predicts future claims
- Special liabilities, e.g. swimming pools, outdoor sports courts, ziplines
In assessing risk, insurance companies evaluate all of the above. Depending on that evaluation, they may conclude that they can only insure your second home if you also insure your primary residence and/or your auto(s) with them to offset the risks your second home presents.
Risk Management Strategies Blue Lion Insurance Advisors, LLC May Recommend
Because our insurance advisors have dealt with all sorts of second home issues, we are well-prepared to guide you through risk management techniques that may help to protect your property and keep your insurance costs as low as possible. These techniques include:
- Engaging the services of a property management company to monitor your property
- Turning off the water when your second home is not being used
- Refraining from posting on social media that your second home is unoccupied
- Making certain to lock all doors and windows when your second home is not in use
- Investing in a security system for your second home
If you want your second home to be a source of pleasure rather than anxiety, take the important step of contacting our team. We can help you to make certain that your second home’s insurance coverage, like your first home, is Blue Lion Strong™. Call our office today at (732) 649-1600 or fill out our contact form.