While it may be hard to believe, the first day of spring is right around the corner and old man winter will finally be wrapping-up his overstayed visit. While there is still plenty of opportunity for cold weather and a snow storm or two, the winter of 2013/2014 has already guaranteed itself a spot as one of the coldest on record and one with a fair share of snow and ice as well.
For some of you, it may have been the winter where you finally said “enough”; enough of the snow and ice, enough of the sub-zero temperatures, and enough of the sloppy roads. It’s time to begin planning on where to spend your future winters, where the weather is nice and you can enjoy the outdoors. If that’s your plan, there are a few things you should consider with regard to the insurance coverage on your new winter home.
If You Choose to Rent
If you’re renting a home or apartment for a month or two, your current homeowners policy may be all you need. Generally speaking, when someone rents an apartment or home, they are not responsible for liability caused by unavoidable accidents. However, there is always a chance that an accident can be attributed to you in whole or in part, so it’s always best to call and ask your agent if your policy extends liability coverage to rented properties.
In addition to the liability exposures, you most certainly will be bringing a fair amount of personal property with you such as your golf clubs, computers, or your camera. As with the liability coverage on your homeowners policy, your personal property coverage travels with you when on vacation or an extended stay. However, your policy may have limits as to what is covered and for how much, so as before, it’s always a good idea to check with us to be sure you have adequate coverage.
Finally, you are not responsible for insuring the property itself as that is the responsibility of the property owner.
If You Buy a Timeshare
For some, buying in to a timeshare might be the right decision. However, the term “timeshare” can mean a number of different things ranging from real property ownership to vacations clubs. Because there are so many variations, there is no way an article is going to cover your specific situation.
Generally speaking though, the determining factor in what type of insurance coverage is needed is based upon whether the timeshare is deeded (where you have ownership), or if it’s not deeded (where it’s more of a guaranteed rental agreement). In the case of the former, you are an owner and with ownership comes more responsibility. Depending on the insurance company your home is insured with, you may be able to extend coverage to your timeshare through an endorsement. If that isn’t the case, a separate policy may be needed. In the case of a vacation club, or a timeshare where there is no true ownership involved, your responsibility will likely be a lot less.
As mentioned earlier, every case needs to be assessed based on the timeshare agreement and your current homeowners coverage. Feel free to stop in or give us a call to discuss your specific situation.
If You Buy a Second Home
If buying a second home is an option for you, you will need a separate homeowners insurance policy in most cases. In addition to insuring the home itself, your second home may be unoccupied for extended periods of time, or you may be planning on renting it out while you’re not using it. In either situation, there are exposures beyond what is covered in a basic homeowners policy and additional endorsements or policies may be needed.
So if this is the last winter you’ll be spending in Wisconsin or Minnesota, there are a few things that you need to think about beyond which golf course you’ll be living near in Arizona. For help choosing the right coverage for your new winter home, timeshare, or rental, stop in or give us a call at Reis Insurance.