Vacation Home Insurance in Seattle, Washington

What You Need to Know About Vacation Home Insurance

What You Need to Know About Vacation Home Insurance

Vacation Home Insurance in Seattle, WashingtonWhen it comes to insuring a vacation home, the insurance landscape can look slightly different from that of primary homes. While the risks are relatively similar, you’ll find that some added perils come with vacation homes. These risks vary with how you intend to use your second home. 

Personal Use
If a vacation home is often left vacant for long periods, the chances of burglary, vandalism, and unnoticed damage may rise considerably. Moreover, the house’s location can expose it to further damages such as flooding, fires, or wind damage, which may not be attended to in due time considering the vacant status of the house. Insurance providers take all of this into consideration when determining your policy premium. You’ll likely be offered a comprehensive insurance policy in order to cover all risks adequately. Be sure to clarify whether you intend to keep the house vacant for extended periods or visit regularly. Vacant home insurance and vacation home insurance, while similar, are not the same.

Intentions of renting
If you’re considering renting your vacation home or allowing others to stay in it, your policy will look different. Aside from protecting your second home structure, it’s a good idea to ensure that you have enough personal liability coverage. An Umbrella insurance policy can cover any claims against you due to injury or damages that occurred on the property. Be sure to look into liability coverage, which covers any personal injuries sustained by someone while they’re on the property. This policy could also include medical payments coverage. 

Moreover, rent-loss insurance could be a worthwhile investment considering that it covers any financial losses amassed during times when rent cannot be paid (damages, natural disasters, and much more.) It is also worth looking into a landlord policy, which can cover you for damages while even replacing lost income if the property is being rebuilt or repaired following a covered loss. 

Do I really need to insure my vacation home?
While not strictly necessary, it’s highly recommended to get coverage for your secondary-home. Damages to a vacation home, whether first or second-party, can be financially crippling.  Additionally, if your vacation home has a mortgage, your lender may require property insurance as a condition of borrowing. 

How much will my insurance policy cost?
Depending on several factors such as the home’s age, condition, and location, the amount you’ll pay for a homeowners insurance policy can fluctuate. However, overall, expect to pay higher than with regular home insurance.

The best way to get more information on vacation home insurance is to ask a licensed agent in our office. We can assist you with assessing your insurance needs and provide you with some quotes from several of the top insurance companies.

Get A Quote For Your Insurance Today

Our licensed staff is ready to help you get multiple vacation home insurance quotes. Because we’re an independent insurance agent we can shop from multiple insurance companies to help you find the right coverage at the right price. 

Wedding Insurance: Say ‘Yes,’ to Peace of Mind

bride and groom holding hands

You’ve fallen in love and plan to say, “I do.” Now your every waking moment is filled with visions of the dress, the rings, the flowers, the honeymoon and more. But, have you thought about insurance?

No, it’s not romantic, but it is a practical way to gain some peace of mind. After all, what would happen if something went wrong with the venue or your rings got stolen? Insurance can help you plan for these and other scenarios – find out how below.

The Big Day

According to TheKnot.com, the average cost of a wedding now exceeds $25,000. When you make an investment of that size, it’s a good idea to protect it. What if the caterer cancels the morning of your wedding? Hiring a replacement the day-of might cost you four times as much. What if the reception site floods a few days beforehand and you have to change venues? What if the groom gets sick and must be hospitalized? Event insurance typically covers unforeseen and sudden issues like these related to the reception site, inclement weather, vendor no-shows and illness or injury.

So, where to start with purchasing a policy? Talk with your venue and vendors about their liability insurance to help determine where you might need additional coverage. Then, work with an independent insurance agent to purchase event insurance for your wedding.

The Bling

Engagement and wedding rings can represent a sizeable investment in and of themselves. You’ll want to update your renters insurance, condo insurance or homeowners insurance – as well as your home inventory – to reflect their value. Is there an opportune time to do so? Yes: as soon as possible. Don’t put it off until after you’ve settled in to a regular routine following the honeymoon. As soon as you purchase the rings, call your independent agent to protect them.

The Presents

We’ve all heard the horror stories of wedding gifts being stolen. You can always purchase an extra policy to cover yourself from potential loss – whether the gifts are stolen off your front porch or lifted from the gift table at your reception. Policies typically cover a pre-defined period of time before or after the wedding and require you to file a police report if something does go missing.

After the wedding, you’ll want to add your new household goods to your home inventory in case of a personal property claim on your renters, condo or homeowners policy. You can check with your independent agent whether you need to purchase more personal property coverage to protect your new belongings, especially items such as china, silver, collectibles and family heirlooms. These and other items that appreciate over time may need separate coverage. Create a list of these items and discuss them with your independent agent.

The Honeymoon

Finally, it’s time to relax after months of sweating over pulling off the perfect day. But, the honeymoon isn’t exempt from unforeseen circumstances, which is where travel insurance comes into play. Polices often address trip cancellation, trip delay, medical insurance and more. The travel experts at Frommer’s say a policy should cost about 3 to 8 percent of your trip’s value. If you’re interested in protecting your trip, talk to us about the policy that’s right for you.

Your wedding day and your honeymoon should be some of the happiest times of your life. Putting a little extra effort into insuring your investment will put you on the path to living happily ever after. Best wishes and congratulations!

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance®

Top image by UnSplash user Jeremy Wong Weddings used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Inexpensive Fixes for a Safer Home

Home improvement: It’s a never-ending process for many people, and for those of us who aren’t necessarily handy, it can be a hassle, too.

But there are plenty of simple maintenance tasks and other improvements you can handle to make your home safer – whether you’re handy or not. And you won’t have to break out the power tools (or any tools at all in some instances) or worry about getting in over your head.

Water Works
You need running water in your home – but not water running in your home, if you know what we mean. Even minor leaks can cause major problems, from higher water bills to damage requiring costly repairs (maybe even the kind you can’t tackle yourself). Here are some easy ways to make sure your water stays where it should:

  • Check your appliances. They’re the most common source of water leaks in homes, so it’s worth taking a look at least once a year to check for problems. And the hoses that come with your washer and dishwasher can mean big trouble – they break down over time. Look for kinks and cracks, and replace if needed. Consider using reinforced hoses, too; those with steel braiding or mesh won’t hold up forever, but they’re stronger than rubber or plastic.
  • Watch the pressure. Water pressure that is set too high can cause pipes, hoses and water lines to leak or burst. Inexpensive gauges are available at home-improvement stores to test your pressure.
  • Consider installing water sensors. These can alert you to a leak or other problem soon after it occurs – some can even send messages to your smartphone.

Keep Your Family (and Your Guests) On Their Feet
Millions of Americans are injured in falls each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in four older adults report a fall each year. Look around your home. Should you make some of these fixes?

  • Reduce clutter. Everything from small pieces of furniture to area rugs can pose a hazard, so make sure they’re in appropriate places and out of the way if possible.
  • Add stability to stairs. Make sure stairways have sturdy rails, and maybe even non-slip strips, particularly outdoors.
  • Let there be light. It’s hard to walk safely when you can’t see obstacles or potential trouble spots. Make sure your home is well-lit, and don’t forget night lights, too.

Give Everyone Some Air
Pollution isn’t just an outside thing – the air in your home can be unhealthy, too. But helping people breathe a little easier isn’t hard when you follow these steps:

  • Test the air (and your detectors). Make sure you have working carbon-monoxide and smoke detectors and test them regularly. Also, consider testing your home for radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be dangerous over time.
  • Check your filters and ducts. Keeping your furnace filter and air ducts clean will keep your air cleaner as well. And consider adding some of nature’s air filters: plants.
  • Keep your home clean. Dust doesn’t just build up on the furniture – it ends up in the air as well. Regular cleaning means cleaner air (just be sure to use safe products).

Home improvement doesn’t have to mean a kitchen remodel or finishing the basement. Making your home safer, in fact, just might be the best improvement of all.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance®.

Top image by Unsplash user KJ Styles used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.