By definition a second home is not permanently inhabited. Even if it is not necessarily in an isolated place, it runs more risk than housing occupied every day.
In a second home, we can not act immediately to limit the consequences of a disaster. If there is a storm or water damage, there may be more damage than if you were there to curb a little bit. As for burglaries, the risks are obviously greater. So you need good insurance and a good security of the property.
Extension or dedicated contract?
To ensure a second home, there are two possibilities. The first is to take out a dedicated multi-risk home insurance. The second is to favor an extension of the insurance of the principal residence.
To make the right choice, two things can help you. The geographical location of the accommodation and the frequency of your stays. If, for example, it is not far from your principal residence and you go there every week, an extension of your main contract is enough. For a surcharge to be defined with your insurer, all your risks will be guaranteed in the same way. If, on the other hand, it is farther away and in a region with specific risks (avalanche, storms, floods, fires), opt for tailor-made insurance to reinforce the coverage of the most important risks.
The civil liability guarantee
This guarantee is present in the multi-risk home insurance of the principal residence. It is important because it covers the damage that can be done to others in everyday life. However, if you have already purchased one as part of your main home insurance, you do not need to buy another one in your home insurance policy.
The risks of burglary
This is the risk you think of first for a second home, especially if it is isolated and you do not go there often. If this is the case, study precisely the theft and vandalism guarantee of the various insurance offers: the price, the exclusions, the deductibles, the compensation caps …
Also check the insurer’s requirements in terms of security: reinforce the exits, put bars on the windows or install burglar-resistant glass of more than 8 millimeters, avoid leaving valuable objects or furniture. If you do not comply with these orders, he may refuse to take charge in the event of a disaster.
The indentation clause
This clause is to be monitored. Because if it is present in the contract, it indicates that you are not insured against theft if your residence is not inhabited for a minimum period. This can vary from 30 to 40 days in general, sometimes reaching 60 or even 90 days. In the case of a second home, this can be a problem, especially in areas “at increased risk” (isolated house, resort area …).