When the warm weather approaches, many of our travelers begin to call with questions about insuring rental properties for their summer vacations. It’s never too early to begin planning, so here is some information about travel insurance for rentals that may prove useful as you research and book your vacation.
The most important thing to bear in mind when you’re seeking insurance for a vacation at a rental property is that while the property owner surely has homeowner’s insurance to cover any issues that may occur while you’re there, that coverage won’t necessarily help you with the cost and inconvenience of a doomed or disrupted vacation. Be sure to check any travel insurance policy you’re considering for its stance on coverage for a destination that becomes uninhabitable. Most package policies offer some kind of coverage for this circumstance, which applies if a major weather event such as a hurricane, or another unforeseen issue such as a fire, damages your rental property so badly that you can’t use it. Speaking of hurricanes, since many popular summer rental spots are located in hurricane-prone areas, it's also worth mentioning that some package policies will provide you with trip cancellation coverage if you must cancel your trip due to a NOAA Hurricane Warning for your destination that's issued 24 hours or less in advance of your departure. (Check your individual policy for specific requirements and restrictions related to this coverage.)
Another thing many travelers don’t think about when booking a vacation rental is that if you’re driving to the property, rather than flying, you may need to look into a travel insurance policy that will provide you with some degree of coverage for road closures that prevent you from getting to your destination. This is a highly specialized benefit that not all companies offer, but then again, not all travelers need it. However, if you happen to know that the old shore house you generally rent on such-and-such island is accessible by only one route, you may want to think about what would happen if that road became impassable, and look for a travel insurance company that will cover you if it does.
Lastly, summer renters should think carefully about whether or not they are comfortable with the medical facilities available near their rental properties, and would want to receive intensive treatment at those facilities. While those renting summer properties within the United States may not think about adding medical coverage to their list of needs, it can be comforting to know that if you end up needing critical care or a prolonged hospital stay, you could be transported – as medically safe and appropriate – back to a hospital near your home, rather than having to remain in treatment at your vacation destination. While the details of coverage vary by policy and provider, if you’re traveling more than 50-100 miles from your home for that summer rental stay, you may want to consider purchasing a travel insurance package policy that includes medical evacuation back to your home.