Elements to Consider in Insuring a Second Home Overseas

As a greater number of people have traveled extensively overseas in today's world, more and more of them have found certain special destinations that they wish to keep coming back to, or even to retire to for part of the year. The result is that many individuals are choosing to invest their money in a second home overseas. The biggest problem with having a second home that is found overseas lies in getting it properly insured.

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The problem of insurance for overseas second homes is really one of an excessive number of choices and policies. Coverages can vary widely from one policy and provider to the next. If the owner of this house is able to pick out a good insurance plan, then the policy will safeguard the second home against practically every possibility.

Appropriateness of coverage is a factor that should be given the greatest priority in finding this type of second home overseas insurance. There simply is no reason to pay for coverages that a family does not need. Flexible insurance policies that are adaptable are the most ideal. Some factors that the person should consider include swimming pool coverage, coverage of visiting friends and family, and coverage for paying renters. If the second home will include these elements, then they should all be covered. If some, or all of them, will not be a factor, then the individual should not pay extra to have these coverages included in the policy.

Another question that must be answered regarding this insurance policy revolves around whether the overseas second home building, contents, or both need to be fully covered. To start with, insurance of the building or buildings is critical. Most banks will not even loan money in the form of a mortgage unless the prospective owner maintains it. Building insurance protects a second home against flood, fire, and other natural disasters. The buyer should query the insurer regarding all forms of natural disasters that might or might not be covered by the policy. As an example, earthquake coverage is not even available in Italy and Greece. It comes at an extra premium upon request in Portugal, the Republic of Cyprus, and Bulgaria.

Contents' coverage of overseas' homes proves to be an entirely separate issue. The building's insurance policy does protect both the home structure and its fixtures, but not the family's belongings. Likely the owners will not leave numerous valuable objects in the unoccupied home after they leave, but the furniture will stay behind. People might leave winter or summer clothes in the closets as well. Kitchen utensils and appliances typically remain inside the overseas home too. Between furniture, clothes, and kitchen implements, these are many things that would be expensive to replace. This means that it is smart to pay for contents' coverage along with the building's insurance policy. This will protect the family's possessions from vandalism, theft, and even accidents. It helps to narrow down the insurers when the person insists on finding one who provides all of these elements as standard options, since not all insurers do.

The amount of coverage is also important in finding overseas second home insurance. A fine line exists between how much insurance coverage is too much and how much is too little. The most important guideline is not to insure a home for its present market value. Rather, it should be covered for the amount of money that would be required to rebuild the home and other property buildings to their pre-disaster state. As a part of this estimate, outside elements, such as patios, utilities, driveways, walkways, and play areas all need to be included. Gates, walls, and fences should not be left out of this either. If all of this sounds too complicated, one might begin with the current market value of the overseas home and work up from there.

Copyright 2010 John Maxwell