Many families enjoy the convenience of renting a beach home or mountain cabin for a vacation getaway. But the last thing you want to think about while on vacation is being liable for damage to that rental home or to worry about your personal belongings.
Most homeowner policies provide two important coverages to consider when on vacation: personal property coverage and liability coverage. Before you rent a vacation home, check to see how your policy would respond in the event of a loss. In some cases, you may need to purchase additional coverage.
PERSONAL PROPERTY COVERAGE
A homeowner, tenant or condominium policy protects against losses to your personal belongings, up to the limit provided by the policy. This coverage generally applies if your belongings are damaged while at your own home, in your car or while on vacation.
PERSONAL LIABILITY COVERAGE
Most homeowner policies also include coverage for liability from bodily injury, property damage and personal injury (for example, false arrest, malicious prosecution, libel, slander, invasion of privacy or wrongful eviction)
Accidents happen, and you don’t want to be caught off guard if you or a family member were to break a window or damage property belonging to the owner of the vacation home. Knowing how your policy will respond ahead of time will help you better plan for the unexpected.
Most homeowner policies exclude coverage to property rented to an insured unless it was caused by water, fire, smoke or explosion. Policies generally offer coverage up to $1,000 per occurrence for damage to property of others. This limitation applies to the personal property usually kept in the vacation home that the insured does not own, for example, the furniture, appliances, linens and dishware that are available for use while renting that home.
But even if your homeowner policy excludes these coverages, there are options to secure comprehensive coverage for property damage to the rental vacation home. Many companies that manage vacation rental homes allow the customer to purchase insurance coverage with the rental contract.
Remember to review coverage options available when deciding what home to rent for vacation, and know what you are responsible for in the event of a loss.
Also, if you have a personal umbrella policy, most personal umbrella policies will provide property damage liability coverage for a loss, without a deductible. The coverage on the personal umbrella policy is not limited to water, fire, smoke or explosion. If you have a personal umbrella policy, it may not be necessary to purchase the insurance coverage through the vacation rental company.
Before your vacation getaway, contact your local independent insurance agent to review your coverages. Then you can relax and enjoy!
Coverages described here are in the most general terms and are subject to actual policy conditions and exclusions. For actual coverage wording, conditions and exclusions, refer to the policy or contact your independent agent.