A vacation, seasonal or second home can be a great way to get away, especially during the winter months. But don’t let worries about what could happen to your second property when you return from vacation ruin the relaxation and fun you just had. Specialty dwelling insurance can help cover your vacation or seasonal home. Learn more about specialty dwelling insurance and how it can be used specifically for a secondary home.

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Why Would You Need Specialty Dwelling Insurance on a Vacation Home?

Your primary home insurance typically will not cover a second home, so you’ll need to find a different or “specialty” insurance policy to protect your second property. This coverage can be important as vacation or seasonal homes may be at higher risk of damage or theft since you are not living there permanently. The absence of a full-time resident means it could take a while before you notice events like a break-in, a water leak or windstorm damage.

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What Types of Coverage Could You Have with Specialty Dwelling Insurance?

Depending on your insurer, you may have several options to best fit your vacation or seasonal home. Much like for your primary home, you could purchase liability, comprehensive, named peril, actual cash value, replacement cost and more.

You may also be able to extend your liability limits and replacement costs. And you could get additional coverage for expensive items at your seasonal home like musical instruments or fine art. Talk to your agent about what policy options and additions are available to you, and check to see whether you are required to carry your primary homeowner insurance with them to be able to have a specialty dwelling policy as well.

What Can Affect How Much Coverage You Need for Your Vacation Home?

The types and amount of coverage will vary based on the home itself. Here are some factors that may affect the coverage recommended for your vacation, seasonal or second home:


Where your vacation home is located plays a big part in what insurance coverage you may need. Do you have a cabin in the woods? You may need to worry about forest fires. Do you have a lakeside home for the summer? Adding flood coverage may be recommended by your agent.

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If your vacation home is older and hasn’t been updated or maintained, you may need more coverage. An older roof may leak, or the original wiring may be at risk for fires. A newer or well-maintained home could be viewed as less of a risk for damages.


Theft and vandalism are definitely concerns for secondary and vacation homes. That cabin in the woods may need more security due to its remote location compared to a condo. However, strong home security practices are important for any type of home. Anti-theft security systems, smarter locks, security cameras, outside lighting, yard maintenance and having a person check on the property regularly are some ways to protect your property. Discuss risk levels with your agent and how they may impact your coverage.

Vacations shouldn’t be stressful, so contact your agent about your vacation home and its insurance needs today. And don’t forget to ask about other policies you may need – whether your second home has a pool, or you keep your recreational vehicles or personal watercrafts there.

Have a Vacant Home? Learn More About Insurance Coverage for When No One’s Home.