Secondary & Seasonal Home Insurance

When it comes to owning a second home, it is important to obtain a distinct vacation home insurance policy.  Explore the intricacies of secondary and seasonal home insurance, understand coverage options, and find out which insurance companies offer the best policies in the state. Whether you own a summer home on Lake Winnipesaukee or an oceanfront condo at Hampton Beach, this guide will provide valuable insights to protect your investment and ensure peace of mind while enjoying your vacation home in New Hampshire.

Key Points:

• Owning a second home requires a separate homeowners insurance policy to protect it, distinct from your primary residence.

• Homeowners insurance for second homes offers the same coverage as primary homes, but the cost tends to be higher due to the increased risk of insurance claims.

• Premiums for second home insurance are influenced by factors such as the frequency of vacancy, location, and whether the property is rented out.

Here’s the six standard coverages in a secondary or seasonal home insurance policy:

CoverageWhat it covers
DwellingStructure of the home, including its walls, foundation, flooring, kitchen cabinets, roof, and windows.
Other StructuresProtects detached structures, such as a shed, fence or garage.
Personal PropertyPersonal belongings both on and off your property, such as clothing, furniture, electronics, and kitchen appliances.
Loss of UseAdditional expenses you incur while relocating or staying elsewhere while your mobile home is being repair
Personal LiabilityLegal or medical expenses if you’re found liable for damage or injury.
Medical PaymentsMedical expenses resulting from a guest’s injury on your property.

Is it possible to have both of your homes covered by a single homeowners policy?

In general, it is not possible to insure two homes under a single home insurance policy, as each home has distinct coverage needs.

However, some insurance providers offer the convenience of bundling two home insurance policies together, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of having both homes covered under one policy package. Bundling policies with a single insurance company can often lead to reduced premiums and additional policy perks.

Do I Need Second Home Insurance?

If you and your spouse are considering purchasing a vacation home, it is important to determine whether insurance is necessary. Can you rely on your existing homeowners policy?

If you plan to finance your vacation home, second home insurance is typically required. Lenders want assurance that mortgage payments can still be made in the event of a disaster.

For this reason, your lender may mandate homeowners insurance, which provides more comprehensive coverage compared to a dwelling policy.

However, if you intend to pay cash, inherit the property debt-free, or fully pay off the secondary home on your own, the decision to insure it is up to you (we highly recommend insuring it regardless of whether financed or not).

Below are the best insurance companies in New Hampshire that offer competitive seasonal, vacation, or second home insurance:

American Modern  National General
The Andover Companies  Openly
Chubb Insurance  Patriot Insurance Company
Concord Group Insurance  Plymouth Rock Assurance
Foremost  Progressive
The Hanover Insurance Group  Safeco Insurance
Main Street America Insurance  Safety Insurance
Stillwater  Swyfft
Universal Property  Vermont Mutual

Are the insurance requirements the same for insuring a secondary or seasonal home?

The process of insuring a second home is similar to insuring your primary residence, but the exact similarities and differences depend on the option you choose.

If you opt for a second homeowners insurance policy, the process will be practically identical, except that you will pay two premiums instead of one. Bundling both policies together will always result in a discount.

With a dwelling policy, you must carefully review the coverage details to ensure it meets your needs. Our team at Portsmouth Atlantic insurance can assist you in this process. If desired, we can also help you extend liability coverage from your primary home to your second home.

What states does Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance write secondary or seasonal home insurance?

If your second home is in a different state from your primary residence, the process may vary slightly due to different insurance regulations. However, this is unlikely to pose a significant problem, as our team at Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance can write insurance in the following states:

  • New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Vermont
  • Connecticut
  • Rhode Island 
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Florida

How Do I Get Second Home Insurance and How Much Does it Cost?

The average cost of homeowners insurance in the US is $1,582 per year.  In most cases, a secondary or seasonal home will cost more with the same level of dwelling coverage.  That’s because the a secondary or seasonal home is not occupied year round by the owner and increases certain risks. 

To obtain second home insurance, your first step is to consult with our team at Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance. Share your plans for acquiring a second home, including details such as:

  1. Location of the second home (e.g., lake cabin, beach house, residential neighborhood).
  2. Amenities: Will the second home have full plumbing, electricity, etc., or will it be more rustic?
  3. Approximate budget and estimated value of the second home.
  4. Details about your current homeowners policy.

Homeowners Insurance for Renting Out Your Second Home

If you intend to rent out your secondary home when you’re not using it, it’s important to understand how it can affect your homeowners insurance. Here are the key points to consider:

  1. Increased Rates or Policy Changes: Renting out your second home may lead to an increase in insurance rates or require a new policy altogether. This is because rental properties pose additional risks and liabilities.
  2. Short-Term Rental Coverage: Your insurer may require you to add short-term rental coverage to your homeowners policy. This coverage specifically addresses the risks associated with renting out your property on platforms like Airbnb. It’s important to note that relying solely on services like “AirCover” provided by Airbnb may not offer sufficient coverage on its own.
  3. Long-Term Rental: If you plan to rent out your vacation home for extended periods, such as long-term leases, a standard homeowners policy may not provide adequate coverage. In such cases, obtaining a landlord insurance policy specifically designed for rental properties becomes necessary.

What are some Tips to save on Vacation Home Insurance?

Here are some effective strategies to help lower the cost of your vacation home insurance:

  1. Strengthen property security by installing surveillance cameras and reinforcing your premises.
  2. Mitigate risks by installing water leak sensors, low temperature monitoring and other preventive systems.
  3. Safeguard your home with a centralized burglar alarm or smoke detector.
  4. Simplify and save by bundling your primary residence, secondary home and auto insurance with the same carrier.
  5. Consider purchasing a vacation home within a homeowners association (HOA) community for added security and amenities.
  6. Regularly review and compare homeowners insurance policies. Our dedicated team at Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance can assist you in finding the best insurance coverage and ensuring you receive the most competitive rates.

Our team of insurance professionals at Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance can guide you through all available options and help you discover potential discounts. Bundling insurance for your primary and second homes could also result in cost savings.

Enjoy your new home! Although you hope to never encounter a situation requiring a second home insurance claim, having your insurance in order will provide peace of mind should a disaster occur.

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We proudly serve residents in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Ohio, Illinois & Florida

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