Updated: February 2016
When it comes to vacation accommodations, you have a lot of options. One option many people choose is the vacation rental — renting a house or condo for a week on holiday.
Many factors come into play when you're planning a vacation at a rented home or condo, such as saving money by cooking or the cost difference between rentals and hotels. One other factor you may want to consider when exploring your options involves the insurance implications of staying in a rented house or condo. What if something happens to your personal belongings there? What happens if someone gets hurt? And, what if the property is damaged while you're there? Read on for some helpful information:
If you have an existing renters or homeowners insurance policy at your permanent residence, it likely includes two coverages that may help protect you while you're on vacation.
Personal property coverage. This coverage helps protect your personal belongings against losses from certain perils, up to a specified dollar limit. Personal property coverage typically helps protect your belongings whether they are at your home, in your car or on vacation with you. However, it's important to know that your homeowners policy may apply lower coverage limits to your belongings if they are damaged, lost or destroyed away from your home. So, you should refer to the specifics of your policy. It's important to understand, however, that personal property coverage may not extend to certain types of recreational equipment, such as a boat or a golf cart. It's a good idea to look into separate insurance policies or riders for those.
Liability coverage. Liability coverage is part of your homeowners or renters policy and it helps protect you against legal fees and medical bills if someone is injured in your home and you're found liable. Liability coverage also helps pay for damage you accidentally cause to another person's property, but this property damage coverage likely would not apply to property you rent or control, such as a vacation rental, unless the damage is caused by fire or explosion.
Before you rent a vacation home, you may want to ask what type of insurance the owner has. It's a good idea to make sure that the owner has a homeowners policy with liability coverage, in case you or someone with you is injured on the property due to the owner's negligence.
The owner also likely will have a policy that covers the home, as well as other structures on the property, against fire, a windstorm or other types of losses. If a covered peril causes damage while you're at the property, and you aren't at fault, the property owner's policy will likely cover it.
When in doubt, reach out to your insurance professional before your trip. He or she can help you review your policies so you can decide whether you'll need additional coverage to suit your needs.
Vacation travel should be the best time of the year. A little planning can help you create the pleasant memories that make your vacation one to remember.