Homeowner and Host Tips, Short-Term Rental Insurance

Vacation Home Insurance: Get the Right Coverage for Your Second Home

Vacation Home Insurance: Get the Right Coverage for Your Second Home

You’ve fulfilled your dream of buying that picturesque second home, but how do you protect it from harm? Vacation home insurance. This type of insurance is not the same as traditional homeowners insurance, which is why you need to do your research before choosing a policy.

Where is your property located? Will you be using it as a short-term rental as well? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself to pick the right insurance policy to protect your vacation home.

Learn everything you need to know about vacation home insurance and how to pick the right policy for you in this article.

Key takeaways:

  • You can’t insure your second home under your primary home insurance policy.
  • Insurance companies typically consider vacation homes to be riskier than primary homes.
  • You need special short-term rental coverage if you plan on using your second home as a short-term rental.

Protect your business from costly damages with Safely’s short-term rental insurance.

What is vacation home insurance?

Vacation home insurance covers a home you own but is not your primary residence.The key here is you cannot cover your vacation home with your primary home insurance policy.

There are implicit risks with a second residence that vacation home insurance coverage addresses, like the fact that the property isn’t inhabited the majority of the year. That’s why you need a specialized vacation home insurance policy rather than a traditional homeowners insurance policy.

However, you need your vacation home insurance to offer the same coverage as traditional homeowners insurance (or more), paying out for structural property damage, damage to the contents of your home, bodily harm, and personal liability.

vacation home insurance
Make sure your vacation home insurance covers everything you need.

Is second home insurance more expensive?

Second homes are typically deemed riskier than primary residences, so second home insurance can be more expensive than traditional homeowners insurance. However, the price of vacation home insurance premiums depends on a number of factors, including the location of your home, the type of property, the age and condition of the home, and the company you purchase your insurance through.


Tip: Depending on where your vacation home is located, you may also need to purchase additional coverage, such as flood insurance.

house on beach in hurricane
If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you may need to pay a separate deductible for hurricane insurance.

Why are second homes deemed riskier than primary residences?

Insurance companies see second homes as being more precarious than primary residences, as there are more possible threats to a property without a permanent resident. Because you don’t live there full-time, there’s an increased chance of burglary, vandalism, fires, and flooding.

This higher level of risk is why vacation home insurance costs tend to be higher than those of primary residences. Plus, many people list their second homes as short-term vacation rentals, which adds an extra level of risk, since they operate as a business and have a range of different residents.

What factors go into building a vacation rental insurance quote?

A number of factors have an impact on a vacation rental insurance quote. One of the most important variables is location. Take a look at the average secondary home insurance rates across different US states:


Average annual premium for $250,000 dwelling coverage

(according to Bankrate.com)

Short-term rental insurance in Alabama $2,524
Short-term rental insurance in Alaska $1,825
Short-term rental insurance in Arizona $1,735
Short-term rental insurance in Arkansas $3,582
Short-term rental insurance in California $1,461
Short-term rental insurance in Colorado $2,230
Short-term rental insurance in Connecticut $1,796
Short-term rental insurance in Delaware $1,106
Short-term rental insurance in Florida $2,262
Short-term rental insurance in Georgia $2,091
Short-term rental insurance in Hawaii $697
Short-term rental insurance in Idaho $1,271
Short-term rental insurance in Illinois $1,858
Short-term rental insurance in Indiana $1,578
Short-term rental insurance in Iowa $2,006
Short-term rental insurance in Kansas $4,281
Short-term rental insurance in Kentucky $2,872
Short-term rental insurance in Louisiana $3,184
Short-term rental insurance in Maine $1,485
Short-term rental insurance in Maryland $1,740
Short-term rental insurance in Massachusetts $1,865
Short-term rental insurance in Michigan $1,605
Short-term rental insurance in Minnesota $2,416
Short-term rental insurance in Mississippi $3,235
Short-term rental insurance in Missouri $2,302
Short-term rental insurance in Montana $2,669
Short-term rental insurance in Nebraska $4,189
Short-term rental insurance in Nevada $1,371
Short-term rental insurance in New Hampshire $1,147
Short-term rental insurance in New Jersey $1,128
Short-term rental insurance in New Mexico $3,275
Short-term rental insurance in New York $1,470
Short-term rental insurance in North Carolina $1,603
Short-term rental insurance in North Dakota $2,694
Short-term rental insurance in Ohio $1,895
Short-term rental insurance in Oklahoma $5,390
Short-term rental insurance in Oregon $1,096
Short-term rental insurance in Pennsylvania $1,217
Short-term rental insurance in Rhode Island $1,944
Short-term rental insurance in South Carolina $1,840
Short-term rental insurance in South Dakota $3,038
Short-term rental insurance in Tennessee $2,736
Short-term rental insurance in Texas $3,143
Short-term rental insurance in Utah $975
Short-term rental insurance in Vermont $1,020
Short-term rental insurance in Virginia $1,557
Short-term rental insurance in Washington $1,306
Short-term rental insurance in Washington, D.C. $1,620
Short-term rental insurance in West Virginia $1,813
Short-term rental insurance in Wisconsin $1,368
Short-term rental insurance in Wyoming $1,274

For example, compare short-term rental insurance in Florida with short-term rental insurance in California: There’s a difference of over $800 between the two. And if your property is located somewhere more susceptible to natural disasters or weather damage, like hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, or flooding, this will be reflected in your insurance quote.

Other factors that go into building a vacation home insurance quote include the age and state of the home, as well as the type of property. So an apartment that was built last year won’t get the same quote as a decade-old beach house, even if they’re located a block away from each other.

House on lake surrounded by water
Depending on where your second home is located, you may need extra coverage for water damage.

Does a homeowners insurance policy cover a second home?

Many insurers require you to get a separate insurance policy if you own a vacation property: It’s rare to be able to use the same homeowners insurance policy for both your primary and secondary residence.

Plus, many insurance companies won’t cover you if you use your second home for commercial purposes, like offering it as a short-term vacation rental. That’s why it’s so important to work with a company that specializes in short-term rental insurance, like Safely, to cover your second home.

However, the property insurance policy you get for your second home will cover a lot of the same things as your primary home insurance, including damage to the interior and exterior of your house, damage to the contents of your home, and personal liability for damage you unwillingly cause to others or their property.

How to choose between different second home insurance policies

When choosing between different second home insurance policies, the first thing you should ask yourself is what you plan to use your property for. Even if you’re just going to be using it as a seasonal home for your family, explore coverage options before deciding on a policy, and take into account the different areas of risk.

For example, if you have a beach house, you will need a policy that accounts for water damage and natural disasters, while someone with a peaceful getaway in the country has less demanding coverage needs.

But if you plan on renting your second home out as an Airbnb or vacation rental, you need a policy that covers your property when it’s being used for commercial purposes. With Safely, you get coverage for:

  • Property contents (up to $10,000)
  • Structural property damage (up to $1,000,000)
  • Bodily harm (up to $1,000,000)

Also, Safely provides automated guest screening along with our insurance. So when you purchase our comprehensive vacation rental insurance, you know your guests will also receive a non-intrusive background check to protect you from high-risk guests.

Did you know? Safely offers coverage for all types of properties, including apartments, cabins, duplexes, and cottages. No matter what type of property you own, there are coverage options for you.

cabin in the woods
A well-protected apartment won’t need the same coverage as a remote cabin in the woods.

Get the best insurance coverage for your vacation home

Depending on where your second home is located, what kind of shape it’s in, and what you plan on using it for, you may be looking at very different second home insurance policies. Keep all these factors in mind when deciding on the type of coverage you want and what company you want to trust your vacation home insurance with.

If you plan on renting out your vacation home, and are looking for the best short-term rental insurance, Safely has you covered. Our comprehensive short-term rental insurance policies include ID verification and guest screening, and protect owners, property managers, and guests.

Protect your business from costly damages with Safely’s short-term rental insurance.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between a vacation home and a second home?

A second home and a vacation home are essentially the same: A property you occupy less than your primary residence. However, an investment property is a property you plan on renting out to earn money, even if you also use it as a vacation home.

What is secondary residence coverage?

Secondary residence coverage is homeowners insurance for a property that is not your primary residence. Secondary residence coverage encompasses the same benefits as primary residence coverage, like damage to your home and personal property coverage. But it often comes at a different price tag given the implicit risks having an unoccupied residence entails.

What is liability coverage?

Liability coverage helps pay for expenses related to bodily harm incurred on your property. This can include medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

It’s especially important for short-term rental owners and property managers to make sure their properties have liability coverage in the case of a guest getting injured on their property.

How do you insure a vacation home?

To insure a vacation home, you should get a specialized policy for secondary residences. And if you also plan on renting out your vacation home, be sure to get a policy that covers you in the event of guests damaging your property, its contents, or themselves during their stay.

Can I combine two homes under a single policy?

In most cases, you will need to get a separate insurance policy for two different homes. This is especially true if your second home is a rental property, as a traditional homeowners insurance policy won’t normally cover a property that generates an income.

How do you save money on a second home insurance policy?

To save money on a second home insurance policy, you should shop around different companies to compare insurance rates and coverage options. But at the end of the day, a home insurance quote is about more than the premiums and deductibles: Take into account how much money that policy will save you in the event of an accident at your second home, the claims process, and if it includes automated guest screening.

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