Facing the Challenges of Placing Secondary and Seasonal Homes
It’s that time of year, when DeCotis Specialty begins to receive a considerable increase in requests from agents looking for Secondary and Seasonal policies for their clients. While some of these risks are straightforward, many insurance professionals also come to us when they have more challenging risks that are harder to place. In these situations, we can provide a more tailored solution. With the answers to a few key questions, DeCotis Specialty Insurance can help you place these risks.
Question #1: Secondary or Seasonal? Primary support?
First, you need to know what you’re working with. Is it a secondary home or a seasonal home? What’s the difference anyway?
- A secondary home is generally used year-round
- A seasonal home is unoccupied for a period of several consecutive months
- Both present an increased exposure because they are unoccupied for days or months
Given this increased exposure, many standard markets require primary home support to consider coverage on a secondary or seasonal home. Often, your insured’s primary home is out of state but that doesn’t mean you should turn the business away. After all, you possess the local knowledge to get your insured the right coverage at the right price. Fortunately, our E&S markets do not require primary support and offers ISO HO-3 or DP-3 coverage for these types of risks.
Question #2: Where’s the Location?
In addition to occupancy, the location of the home must be considered. A mountain retreat is more likely to be located in a Protection Class 9 or 10 making it difficult to place. Conversely, a beach cottage might be protected but is more prone to wind or flood losses. Although voluntary markets tend to shy away from both, our markets specialize in underwriting and pricing for these increased exposures.
Question #3: Will the Insured Need Customized Coverages?
Just as each insured customizes their secondary or seasonal home to fit their needs and style, their insurance should be no different. Each home presents a different risk and each insured a different need. Working with an excess and surplus lines professional will allow you to customize coverage to the insured’s needs without having them pay for any unnecessary coverage. Additionally, our E&S products do not require that standard ISO percentages be used on homeowners policies.
Question #4: Other considerations?
Is the Coverage A limit of the home above the voluntary markets’ maximum limit? Will the insured be renting the home to offset the cost of upkeep and maintenance? If so, will they be allowing short-term rentals? Do they intend to advertise rental of the location on Airbnb.com or VBRO.com? The answers to these questions could affect the coverage. If in doubt, just call one of our knowledgeable agents and you’ll get an answer.
As the weather continues to warm up and your insureds begin to call you, don’t worry. With DeCotis Specialty Insurance’s help, you’ll have all the answers you need to their questions. Contact Us to learn how we can help you meet your insureds’ needs.