Vacation or seasonal homes are not viewed the same by insurers as your primary residence. The problem is that they are not occupied in the same way. You live in your home between 80 and 100 percent of the time. This means that you are there in case something goes wrong. You are also there as soon as it happens for the most part. This is not the case in the vacation or seasonal home.
Some insurers will not cover an unoccupied house.
These homes are easy targets for thieves, vandals, and squatters. This can result in a greater incidence of damage and loss. The homes may not have utilities on all of the time. Houses are built to be climate controlled. The interior of the home will degrade much faster if it is empty and not heated and air conditioned. Maintenance tends to be more sporadic in vacation homes. Consequently, the true value of the home can fluctuate widely depending on its condition. Insurers are not comfortable with all of this added risk.
Renting out the home will put your house in a different insurance category.
The house is no longer viewed as a private residence, but as rental property. Renters do not often treat the home as if it were their own. Instead, maintenance is ignored. Damage is unreported and unrepaired. The general wear and tear on the property increases. This leads to its value decreasing. You can usually find insurance, but you will pay a higher premium for the coverage. Vacation properties often become a type of time share rental. This means that it still may be vacant for weeks at a time. Also, there is no guarantee of its care when migrant tenants move in and out on a weekly or monthly basis.
Confess to the agent that the home is seasonal or for vacations.
This will help to avoid the embarrassment and financial hit of discovering that you are not insured after a claim is made. The insurance companies can add provisions to your policy to allow for the variances associated with this type of property. You will pay for it with higher rates, but it is still better than being uninsured. Many vacation homes are a financial reach for the buyer. You can little afford to lose the property and still own the mortgage because of a lack of insurance when you really need it.
Consult with your agent regarding discounts that may be available on your vacation or seasonal property.
Installing security alarms that are monitored at a remote location should improve your insurance rates. The same is true for retaining a service to regularly maintain and repair the property. Special locks and other security devices along with sprinkler systems may help your rates also. Make sure that you understand your obligations to keep the policy in force at all times.