Vacation Rentals and Your Insurance

Summer sun graphicAn increasingly popular vacation idea is to rent a house or an apartment to stay in when you’re away from home instead of a hotel room.

The advantages of rentals are that they can provide more space (which can be important when traveling with a family), they can offer amenities such as kitchens so that you don’t have to go out for every meal and some vacation rentals can deliver more value for the price than traditional hotels and resorts.

However, if you’re planning on renting a beach house for the family reunion or a cabin in the mountains to get away for a weekend, there are a few things to consider, according to our friends at Trusted Choice.

Protecting Your Property and the Landlord’s

While your homeowners or renters insurance policies will generally cover your possessions anywhere in the world, renting a vacation home can expose your property to more risk than staying in a hotel might, since you may be bringing additional belongings such as bedding, cookware, etc. that you wouldn’t normally bring with you “on the road.”

Your policy also provides for coverage for property that is “used” by an insured, so that if a television belonging to the landlord is damaged, you would have some coverage; there is $1,000 coverage in homeowner’s policies for an insured damaging someone else’s property.

A standard insurance policy provides for coverage for property damage you may be found liable for, so that if you are grilling outside or cooking in the rented house and you accidentally start a fire that damages the property, you should have coverage. If you are renting a vacation property, check with our Trusted Choice independent insurance agents about the coverage you have in your homeowners or renters policy when making your plans.

Other than the $1,000 mentioned above, the homeowner’s liability coverage only extends to damage resulting from fire, smoke or explosion:

“Property damage” to property rented to, occupied or used by or in the care of an “insured”. This exclusion does not apply to “property damage” caused by fire, smoke or explosion;

For example, my wife and I rented a chalet in the mountains for our anniversary. She took a shower in the loft bathroom and the tub curtain wasn’t pulled completely shut. Water leaked through the ceiling into the room below. IF we were liable for this damage, our policy would only cover $1,000.

A personal umbrella policy might provide more coverage. Our agents can help you obtain an umbrella policy or review an existing one.

More about Renting Boats & Travel Insurance >>