This article was posted on Friday, Jun 01, 2018

If you’re investing in a second home, we’ve gathered some insurance basics that will help you make the best buying decision when it comes to determining insurability and estimating your ongoing cost of ownership.

It can cost more to insure a second home than to insure your primary residence.  Premiums are based on a variety of factors, like the amount of time that your home will be unoccupied, its location and the liability from renting the property.

Coverage Options

At a minimum, your lender will require that you carry hazard insurance to protect your property against damage from:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Flooding or
  • Windstorms

It is also a good idea to add liability insurance which covers you and members of your household for accidental injuries to your visitors.  Opting for property plus liability insurance adds up to a standard homeowners insurance package.  For an extra layer of protection, a personal umbrella liability policy extends your liability coverage for properties named in the policy.

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Dwelling Fire Insurance

Since most homeowner policies require occupancy as a condition of insurance, the fact that you visit infrequently may preclude you from obtaining full homeowners coverage.  Dwelling fire insurance is an alternate coverage option for insuring residential rental or non-owner occupancy property – including vacant property.

A dwelling fire policy continues to offer coverage for a home and other structures (detached sheds or garages, for example) for perils named in the policy.  Named perils listed in a typical fire dwelling policy protect against damage caused by:

  • Fire
  • Collapse
  • Lightening strike
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Explosion and
  • Smoke

For more coverage, consider adding personal property protection and liability insurance to a dwelling fire policy.

Renting Out Your Home to Others?

Whether your second property is an apartment unit or a family home, if you are renting the property, you will have little control over the physical damage that can occur.  To mitigate your risks, tenant-occupied dwelling insurance will cover the costs incurred by damage, including:

  • Fire
  • Storms
  • Burglary and
  • Vandalism

It does not cover your tenant’s personal property. Renting your property furnished or unfurnished also has insurance coverage options and whether you should consider requiring longer-term tenants to carry additional renters’ insurance.

As with all homeowners insurance, it is important to be sure that there is enough coverage to protect all of your property values and assets when you choose your policy. 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Be sure to check with AOA’s Group Insurance representatives to see if YOU can start saving money like other members are!  Call 800-827-4262 today! 


GS Insurance Solutions is the exclusive endorsed broker for the Apartment Owners Association of California, Inc.  For more information on the full area of products and services we offer tailored to your specific needs, please call Anthony Miller or his team at 800-827-4262, email him at [email protected] or visit