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Question and Answer ArticleHomeowners Insurance Policy for the Cabin

Answers to your most pressing cabin insurance questions
By Ericka Olin
Published: April 1, 2010
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Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of insurance FAQs that appeared in the pages of Cabin Life. There is no doubt that cabins hold emotional value for owners, but they also hold great financial value – value that needs to be properly protected. Because of the special nature of vacation homes, when it comes time to sit down with your homeowners insurance agent, you may want to ask a few questions about any unique considerations for insuring your cabin.

Q: Am I paying more because my place is remote and exposed to theft, vandalism and other damage? How can I reduce risk and payments?

A: Because they are susceptible to theft, vandalism, and fire and water damage, second homes are typically more expensive to insure than primary homes. However, you can reduce payments by incorporating deadbolt locks, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and even a central alarm system. An alarm system, for example, can cut 10 to 20 percent off premium fees. Building a second home in a gated community or hiring a caretaker can reduce rates in some cases as well. Though it can add liability costs, maintaining constant rental tenants will also reduce the surcharge for vacant property.

Q: What if a loss occurs when my second home is unoccupied; am I still fully covered?

A: Fortunately, yes. Even if no one is occupying your cabin, you will still have coverage under general home-owners insurance.
However, you must use reasonable care for coverage to apply. For instance, for those in cold weather states, maintain heat in your place or shut off the water supply and drain all systems and appliances of water. 

SOURCE: Loretta L. Worters, Vice President of Communication for the Insurance Information Institute,

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