Secondary homes (non-income generating)
Unique insurance considerations
More than 10 million people in the U.S. live in a household that owns a second home.¹ Did you know that second homes have unique risks a primary home does not? While a second home provides a refreshing change of pace from your everyday life, one thing that doesn’t change is the need for insurance. Whether you use it year round, all summer or only on weekends, you want a second home to be as well protected and cared for as your main residence. Understanding how your insurance coverage will protect your home when you’re not there is important.
What to know about insurance for your second home
Long periods with no occupants: Most second homes are used as vacation homes or used only on occasion. Since the house might sit empty for long periods of time, the risk of damage from fire, plumbing problems or burglaries greatly increases. If you’re not around when a fire starts or a pipe bursts, imagine how far the damage can spread. You may not realize anything is wrong until hours, days or weeks later. A professional caretaker can help keep an eye on your property, tend to the grounds, accept deliveries and maintain vehicles and amenities, such as pools or spas, when you aren’t there. This can help deter burglars and reduce damage due to delayed maintenance or wear and tear. Central fire and burglar alarms, as well as water loss mitigation devices, can help prevent property damage and may lower your insurance premium.
Location: rural isolation or coastal hideaway: Even if you are in your second home when an incident occurs, you might be too secluded to get timely help. Where are the nearest fire hydrants, emergency supply stores, police and fire departments? Do you have watercraft, ATVs, snowmobiles or a golf cart that you keep at your second home? The location of your home may also come with additional risk exposures like earthquake or flood.
How you may be at risk
The sprinkler system in your custom Lake Tahoe vacation home engaged, triggering water to spray in the family room and run through most of the first and second floors, causing significant water damage. The total damages are in excess of $1.6 million. If this happened, are you covered for the necessary repairs and a place to stay?
Snow accumulated on your exterior patio on the second level. Snow melt caused the water to seep into the home, traveling through the ceiling and pooling on the hardwood flooring. Two full rooms have to be opened to the studs due to water and mold. The flooring needs to be replaced throughout the main level. The water sat in your home for two weeks before you visited the property, causing $75,000 in damages. Are you covered?
A second home is a wonderful luxury. As with any property, it’s important that your investment is properly protected with the right insurance. Contact your agent to ensure you have proper insurance to cover all of your possessions while they are in use or stored at your second home.
How Nationwide Private Client responds
Nationwide Private Client provides robust coverage, including dwelling, personal property and liability through a separate homeowner policy. However, if you don’t need coverage for your dwelling structure, you can endorse your primary homeowners policy to extend liability to a secondary home or increase the coverage limit for your personal property at the additional residence. Private Client can provide your second home with the following protection:
- Unlimited replacement cost coverage.²
- Loss of use.
- Up to 100% of dwelling value for building ordinance and law upgrades.
- Personal property special limits of liability.
- Watercraft liability and physical damage available through a separate endorsement.
- Sewer backup included at full dwelling value.
- Coverage for your LLC or family trust.
- Personal excess liability coverage.
- Protection endorsement, which includes the following coverages: deductible waiver, water shut-off device following first covered water damage claim, realty tax assessment, disability alterations and earth movement and earthquake for personal property (for states other than California).
Why Nationwide Private Client
Nationwide Private Client is dedicated to helping protect the assets and reputations of our clients. Our highly personalized insurance products, services and concierge-style claims management are thoughtfully designed to meet the distinctive needs of affluent individuals and families. We are committed to providing you a superior experience whenever you need assistance. Relax and unwind in your second home knowing that it is covered with Nationwide Private Client.
Nationwide Private Client offers these added benefits:
- Claims — Exceptional claims handling provided by Nationwide Private Client.
- Financial strength — Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company,³ is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A1 by Moody’s and A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s.4
- Charitable giving — Nationwide Private Client demonstrates a commitment to local communities through its Partners in Giving program, helping numerous lives each year. This supports Nationwide’s belief in being a good corporate citizen where we work and live. Since 2000, the Nationwide Foundation, a nonprofit, private foundation, has contributed more than $394 million to charitable organizations across the U.S.
You can find the following Risk Solutions Series articles at nationwide.com/solutionseries: