Ahh, the great outdoors. You’re the proud owner of a cabin and you love having a place to yourself to get away from it all, kick back, and relax. But while escaping the city certainly does have its perks, unfortunately your cabin comes with its own unique set of risks, many of which are very similar to those found in your regular home. Luckily, having cabin insurance can help seriously increase your sense of calm during your vacation. Here’s a closer look at this coverage.
What is Cabin Insurance?
Cabin insurance, also referred to as “seasonal home insurance,” is essentially an agreement between the cabin owner and an insurance company in which the insurer agrees to cover financial losses relating to damages and liabilities. Of course, only the specific perils stated in the policy will be covered by the insurance company. Cabin insurance is designed to help protect owners from losing their vacation home should disaster strike.
Though peaceful by nature, cabins still come with a host of potential risks. The most common perils affecting cabins include fire damage, natural disasters, theft or vandalism, and liability issues. It’s necessary to purchase a cabin insurance policy if you want coverage for your vacation home because your existing homeowners insurance policy won’t cover an additional living structure. An independent insurance agent can help you get set up with the coverage you need.
What’s the Difference Between a Cabin, Home, and Vacation Home?
Well, a cabin is technically part of the vacation home category which also includes things like lake houses and other seasonal getaway homes. Your everyday house is what gets insured by a traditional homeowners policy, but this coverage isn’t designed to protect vacation homes which is where seasonal or vacation home insurance comes into play. Also, if you’re covering more than one living structure of any kind, you’ll need more than one insurance policy.
Now, if you owned two “regular” homes, you’d look into getting what’s known as “second home insurance,” which is essentially just a second homeowners policy for your additional house. However, seasonal or vacation home insurance is basically a fancy type of homeowners insurance packaged and designed to cover the unique risks associated with owning a cabin, lake house, etc. Your independent insurance agent can clear up any remaining confusion on this.
What Does Cabin Insurance Cover?
Cabins are a unique type of home, so while cabin insurance offers many of the same coverages traditional homeowners insurance does, it also comes with its own unique set of perks tailored to your seasonal/vacation home. Though you can work with your independent insurance agent to customize your policy, here’s a breakdown of the most common coverages included in a cabin insurance package for starters.
Cabin insurance traditionally offers the following coverages:
- Dwelling coverage: This cabin insurance aspect protects the actual building from things like fire, certain natural disasters, theft/vandalism, and more. In the unique case with a cabin, your structure is also protected against damage due to wild animals who may trample your property or jump through and shatter your windows, or even firearms used during hunting season.
- Personal property coverage: Covers your personal belongings stored within the cabin or surrounding sheds like furniture, clothing, electronics, knickknacks, silverware, etc,. from perils such as fire or theft.
- Liability coverage: Covers legal expenses such as attorney and court fees in the event you are sued for bodily injury or property damage to a third party. Settlements you’re ordered to pay if you lose the case are covered as well. Coverage extends to all members of the family living, including pets, who use the cabin. Coverage will protect against mishaps concerning guests who visit your cabin as well.
These three components compose the core of cabin insurance packages. Working together with an independent insurance agent is a great way to get the right amount of coverage in each category for your unique seasonal home.
What Does Cabin Insurance Not Cover?
Like every other kind of insurance out there, cabin insurance comes with a list of specified covered perils, as well as non-covered perils. Becoming familiar with what your cabin insurance policy doesn’t cover can save you the hassle of filing claims that are bound to get denied. And in the event of certain non-covered natural disasters, becoming familiar with cabin insurance can help you find the right kind of policy to protect your vacation home.
Cabin insurance does not cover the following perils:
- Certain natural disasters (i.e., floods, earthquakes, and mudslides)
- Maintenance-related losses
- Wear and tear damage (i.e., failure of the owner to maintain upkeep of the cabin)
- Insect damage or infestations
- Damage from war or nuclear fallout
- Business-related liability
Perhaps unlikely, but if you happen to run a business out of your cabin (even partially), cabin insurance typically won’t cover any liability-related mishaps. Cabin insurance policies also tend to limit liability coverage for certain types of vehicles, including aircraft, ATVs and boats, and have very specific exceptions for certain powered vehicles such as riding lawnmowers. Double-check your specific policy to be sure of coverage for special vehicles.
In order to protect your cabin against flood or earthquake damage, you’ll need a flood insurance or earth movement policy. Flood insurance policies are only available through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is a part of FEMA. Cabin owners may want to seriously consider getting a policy if their vacation home is located in an area prone to flooding.
What Are the Benefits of Cabin Insurance?
When you’re on vacation, the goal is often to relax. Without the proper protection, this might be a challenge. Aside from the risk of property or liability damage that you might have to cover out of pocket without adequate protection, you also run the risk of losing your vacation home entirely if you’re hit with a huge and costly peril that causes severe damage or destruction. Standard cabin insurance packages provide coverage for many common threats.
Cabin insurance typically provides coverage for the following perils:
- Fire and smoke
- Water damage
- Aircraft or vehicle damage
- Falling objects (and trees)
- Certain natural disasters (i.e., windstorms, hail, lightning, and blizzards)
Your independent insurance agent can help you review your cabin insurance policy to answer any remaining questions about your coverage. They’ll also be able to help you figure out whether you’ve got enough coverage, or if you should purchase more.
How Much Does Cabin Insurance Cost?
Many factors influence the cost of a cabin insurance policy, including the size and location of your cabin, the value of the structure, the contents inside, and any upgrades you’ve made. Owners of cabins located in areas prone to severe weather or other risks like crime will be required to pay more for their insurance policies than those who live in calmer, safer areas.
The frequency in which you use your cabin will affect the type of policy you purchase. If your cabin is vacant many months out of the year, you may also need seasonal cabin insurance to protect it while there are no inhabitants watching over it. Even while the structure is empty, it’s still prone to risks like natural disasters, fire, and theft/vandalism.
It's hard to offer an exact figure without knowing your unique situation and the specs of your individual cabin, but your cabin insurance policy more than likely will be less expensive than your regular homeowners policy. Still, you might be paying anywhere in the low hundreds to just over a thousand dollars annually. An independent insurance agent can help find more exact quotes for you.
Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you. Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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