With summer here, many travelers are taking advantage of short term vacation rentals rather than staying at a traditional hotel. Vacation homes and condos often have amenities that a hotel doesn’t (kitchen and laundry).
If you are the owner of a Vacation Rental, we can’t express how important it is to carry the right California Vacation Home, Condo or Townhome insurance policy.
Your traditional home insurance or landlord insurance probably doesn’t cover you if your property is being rented out on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis.
TRAGIC EXAMPLE OF A VACATION RENTAL INCIDENT
Earlier this week, I got a call from an individual that has a beach house they use for their own vacation purposes, but also rent out to vacationers on a nightly and weekly basis. A family rented their beach house for 2 weeks. They had a small child that decided to lean up against the screen of a 2nd story window on the last day of their vacation. This child wasn’t being supervised and the window wasn’t broken and met all building code regulations.
Sadly, the screen broke and the child fell onto the pavement below. Fortunately the child survived, but the property owner is being sued for all medical expenses, legal expenses, post-traumatic stress disorder and future loss of wages as the parents believe their child will never be able to work.
Here’s where the story takes a turn for the worse…the property owner verbally told their insurance agent they often use the property as a rental, but the insurance agent issued a standard owner occupied home insurance policy, NOT A VACATION HOME POLICY. The insurance carrier is now declining the claim and this property owner, as well as all of their assets that they worked for decades to achieve, are completely at risk.
It only takes one incident to turn your life upside down. This property had been fully inspected by a professional inspection company prior to becoming a vacation rental. There weren’t any issues with the windows and it is greatly unfortunate that the property owner is being sued for the lack of parental supervision.
When people go on vacation, they are mentally more relaxed, may have a few cocktails and not be as aware or responsible as they would be in their own home. Barbeques, stoves and hoses can be left on, it’s easy to forget to blow out candles, people get rowdy around the pool…..I think you get the point.
At Einhorn Insurance, our California Vacation Rental policies cover:
– Liability (including properties with swimming pools).
– Damage to the home/property.
– Damage to personal property due to covered perils (see list below)*
– Back up of sewer and drains (great coverage especially if you live near the sandy beach).
– Malicious Mischief
– Separate structures such as fences, sheds, casitas, pool houses and garages.
By now I thing you get the gist that Seasonal, Vacation and Short Term Rentals have a very different risk exposure than your owner occupied home or long term rental policy. Traditional insurance companies don’t have an appetite for this level of risk.
For more questions about California Vacation Rental Insurance or Short Term Rental Insurance, please contact Einhorn Insurance at 858-336-4644 or email us at Agent@EinhornInsurance.com.
We are not trying to discourage you from having a vacation rental. Vacation rentals can have a tremendous upside: income, flexibility and tax write offs. Just make sure you properly cover yourself and the risk exposure with the right insurance policy.
Whether you have a property close to the beach, a cabin in Big Bear or a condo used as a corporate rental, call Einhorn Insurance to get the proper coverage.
A final tip for vacation rental owners: Ask tenants to add you to their home or renters insurance as an Additional Insured for the time they rent your property. Make sure they show you proof that you’ve been added prior to staying at your property.
*Covered Perils Include Fire, lightning, damage from a vehicle, riot, civil commotion, smoke, hail, damage from an aircraft, wind, explosion, vandalism, malicious mischief, damage to home caused by burglars, falling objects, weight of ice/snow/sleet and bursts of water.