Individuals invest in multiple properties for a variety of reasons. They may want a vacation home on the beach, a cozy cabin retreat, or a second property to generate additional income. Homeowners’ insurance is a must for all property investments, but insuring additional properties isn’t the same as covering a primary residence. Property owners that rely on amenities to draw in renters have several additional considerations to protect their investment.
Vacation properties and short-term rentals often have periods of vacancy, making them appealing targets to vandals and burglars. Homeowners may struggle with trespassers if a property has appealing amenities, such as private outdoor spaces or free parking for renters. Empty dwellings are also more likely to sustain significant damage from burst pipes or electrical fires, as there is no renter to report the event. As a result, insurance providers tend to view properties as riskier if they are frequently vacant.
Proximity to water is another factor to consider when insuring multiple properties. Beach properties are often prone to flooding, and most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t provide coverage for flooding caused by severe weather (i.e., hurricanes). However, many policies provide coverage for internal water damage, such as a plumbing leak. Even so, property owners can expect to pay higher premiums to insure additional properties if the home has older plumbing, as it has a higher risk of causing flood damage. Property owners may be on the hook for financing the repair without adequate flood insurance.
Pools and hot tubs are attractive amenities for renters, but they often raise insurance premium rates. From a purely financial viewpoint, they are expensive items and increase the home’s value. The more it costs to replace the home following a catastrophic loss, the more insurance premiums rise. They also increase the risk of injuries or accidental drowning. Property owners are liable for anything that happens to renters and even trespassers that use the pool. Signs that warn people to swim at their own risk aren’t enough to wave liability. Fences locked from the inside are essential to keeping uninvited swimmers out of pools, but landlords still need liability insurance to protect their assets in the event of an amenity-related lawsuit.
Smart homes that boast top-of-the-line technology appeal to many modern renters. Homeowners’ insurance policies may offer some coverage for electronics, but that coverage isn’t often enough for big-ticket items. For example, rental properties with home theaters and high-end speakers may need supplemental electronics coverage.
Appealing amenities can draw in renters and increase revenue, but property owners need to examine their insurance policies closely for any coverage gaps. Windermere Insurance Group can help you find the best coverage to protect your assets, whether you’re investing in a vacation home, an income property, or managing multiple short-term rentals. Contact us to discuss your existing coverage and supplemental policy needs.