Living Prepared

03
Mar

Seasonal Secondary Winter Home

Are you a snowbird who flocks to Florida to your vacation home when it’s a bit too cold up north? Many people with secondary homes tend to visit their vacation homes for around 6 months out of the year.

If you’re looking to have your vacation home insured, an HO3 policy with a couple of added requirements would work just fine. Many insurance companies require a certain amount of time that you occupy the home as well as specific security measures while you’re away.

General requirements for a vacation or secondary home

Vacation homes must be occupied at least 4 months out of the year. It also needs to fall under one of the following:

  • In a gated community
  • In a community with limited access or a single entry
  • Have 24-hour security patrol
  • Have Centrally monitored burglary and fire alarm
  • Be managed by a property management company with a contract

What to do when you pack up for vacation

There are a few important steps you should follow when locking up your home and leaving town for several months:

  • Take important paperwork with you including health insurance and health-related documents
  • Unplug all of your appliances and electronics – these are always at risk for a fire and increase your utility bill
  • Forward your mail to your other address and cancel any newspaper services
  • Turn off the main water valve if no one plans to be there for months
  • Thermostat – when leaving a home in the winter make sure to set it to 50-60 degrees so pipes don’t freeze. When leaving your home in a warm climate, you can set it between 77-80 degrees so that the house doesn’t get too muggy when its warm out.
  • Close the flue to your chimney so critters do not enter
  • Lock all windows and doors
  • Close drapes and shades
  • Trim bushes and hedges so burglars can’t sneak around unnoticed
  • Take out the trash
  • Never post your plans to facebook
  • Set up a time to one lamp in the house that goes on for a few hours each night
  • The best advice would be to have a friend check on your house periodically

At Prepared Insurance, we can help you insure your vacation home. You can request a quote today or find an agent near you.