What Is Secondary Home Insurance?
Secondary homeowners insurance provides physical damage coverage for a secondary home you own that is not considered your primary residence. Examples of secondary homes include a weekend house, a cottage, summer home, vacation home, recreational residence, a cabin, or a condo in the city you use to stay at after attending sporting events or concerts. A secondary home can also include a home that you allow your children to occupy on a full-time basis.
A standard home insurance policy offers coverage for your primary residence. Your primary home is the house you reside in most often and regularly. A secondary homeowner’s policy may also be for a residence that is routinely occupied but less often than your primary home.
Who Needs Secondary Home Insurance?
You will require secondary home insurance if you own a second home, whether it be a house, condo, or cottage that you occupy in addition to your primary residence.
Does a Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover A Secondary Home?
Your primary homeowners insurance policy will not provide coverage for a secondary residence. Many insurance companies do not require a new policy to be purchased in order to receive coverage for your secondary home. The insurance company can add your second home to your existing homeowners insurance policy.
It is important to be aware that you are not able to purchase better coverage for your secondary residence in comparison to your primary home.
What Does Secondary Home Insurance Cover?
Secondary home insurance can cover you for physical damage to the dwelling and outbuildings such as a shed, coverages for your personal property and the loss of use of the dwelling. The condition, use, and location of the secondary home are among the factors that determine insurance coverage for your specific property.
There are three main policy forms available to property owners; Fire and Extended Coverages, Broad Form Coverages, and Comprehensive Coverages.
- Fire and Extended Coverages Form – A fire and extended coverages form is a basic fire insurance policy that will insure your secondary home against only specific perils listed on the policy, which include, but are not limited to, fire, wind, and explosion.
- Broad Coverages Form – A broad form insurance policy will insure your dwelling (house structure) on an all-risk basis. All-risk basis means that if there is no specific exclusion listed on your policy, there is coverage. Although, coverage of your personal property is only for specifically listed perils, as mentioned above.
- Comprehensive Coverages Form – A comprehensive form insurance policy provides the best coverage a company can offer. This type of insurance policy is ruled based on the exclusions. This means both your dwelling and personal property are insured on an all-risk basis. If there is not a specific exclusion, there would be coverage.
What Are Some Additional Secondary Home Insurance Coverages To Consider?
Some additional home insurance coverages to consider adding to your policy include sewer backup coverage, overland water coverage, identity theft coverage, and by-law coverage.
- Sewer Backup Coverage – Sewer backup coverage protects against damage caused by the overflow of a sump pump or any damage caused by the “backing up” of water through your plumbing systems such as toilets, sinks, or bathtubs.
- Overland Water Coverage – Overland water coverage protects against damage caused by freshwater that sits on top of the ground and enters your home, from either torrential rains or a massive spring thaw.
- Identity Theft Coverage – If you were to become a victim of identity theft, the time required, and the cost of defending yourself could be extremely costly. This feature provides coverage for legal fees in addition to other required expenses to rebuild your credit, such as a credit-monitoring service.
- By-Law Coverage – Local bylaws change and develop over the years, and new bylaws are often added to the list of requirements when building a home. If you were to lose your home entirely and must rebuild, you are subject to the current bylaws. In some circumstances, adhering to the required bylaws could be an additional expense. Bylaw insurance coverage for your secondary home will cover those other expenses up to the purchased limit. For example, a current bylaw may require that homes be a specific distance from a sidewalk or public road. If your home does not meet present-day guidelines, the foundation of a new structure would need to meet current bylaw requirements. Bylaw coverage is good insurance protection to have if you have to meet new bylaw requirements.
Is Secondary Home Insurance More Expensive?
Secondary home insurance may be more expensive than your primary homeowner’s insurance. The reason is the probability of a loss is higher for a residence that isn’t occupied full time.
You could potentially not visit your secondary home for days or weeks, during which you could have suffered a loss and not be aware of it. Typically these kinds of losses are catastrophic if there is no one at the residence to prevent further damage.
Prevention is vital when you own a property that you are unable to occupy daily. Having a home alarm system or, at the very least, having a friend or neighbor monitor your home and notify you of any potential issues are good preventive measures.
How Much Does Secondary Home Insurance Cost?
Secondary home insurance can cost you between $1,000 and $2,400 a year. There are many factors that determine the cost of your secondary home insurance including the condition of the residence, location, use of the property, and fire protection proximity. Ensure that you disclose all necessary details of your second home to your insurance broker so your property can be properly assessed for the best secondary home insurance coverage.
What Are Some Ways To Save Money On Secondary Home Insurance?
You can save on your secondary home insurance by having discounts applied to your policy, or by increasing your deductible. Some discounts you may be eligible for include claims-free discount, multiple-property discount, and monitored home alarm discount. Below is a list of more discounts available.
- Fire & burglar alarm discount
- Mortgage-free discount
- Multi-property discount
- Tankless water heater discount
- Mature-age discount
- Claims-free discount
- And More!
It is important to discuss all the details of your secondary home with your broker, not only to insure it adequately but to also be sure all possible insurance discounts are applied.
Where Can I Get Secondary Home Insurance?
You can get secondary home insurance from an insurance broker. An insurance broker will ensure you have the proper coverages for your second home at the best value.
Our Morison Insurance Brokers Are Here To Help
Our Morison Insurance brokers will help you get the right insurance for your home, auto, business, recreational vehicle and more. Our brokers will:
- Shop at insurance companies across Ontario for the best insurance at the most competitive rates.
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This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.
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