Before insuring your dream home or vacation place in Maine there are a few things you should think about.
Cale Pickford, Allen Insurance and Financial
So you’ve fantasized about a coastal dream home or a vacation place in Maine — can’t say we blame you. Before insuring either one, says insurance advisor Cale Pickford, AAI, there are a few things you should think about. Here’s the good news: insurance premiums here tend to be more reasonable than in places like South Carolina, New Jersey, or Long Island, since Vacationland isn’t as vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes. “Maine probably has the most affordable coastal insurance in the country,” says Pickford, who sells business and personal property insurance for Allen Insurance and Financial, an employee-owned independent agency based in Camden. We asked about how to save some green and get the most out of coverage in the Pine Tree State.
What’s important to think about if a home won’t be occupied full-time?
Make sure it’s secured when you’re not there. Hire a local caretaker to shovel the walk and plow the driveway, so emergency crews can access your property if necessary. (Most insurers will require this.) Install fire and burglar alarms, a low-temperature alarm, and an automatic water shut-off valve that senses a leak and cuts off the water supply before damage occurs. If you make these investments up-front, you’re likely to get a discount on your insurance premiums. What’s more, you’ll get the peace of mind of knowing that your investment is protected for the long term.
Does renting a place out affect an owner’s policy?
If you’re considering renting out your property, say via Airbnb or another online service, call your insurance agent first to find out if your home insurance policy covers short-term rentals or whether your insurer can offer a policy that will limit your liability if your property gets damaged. Hire a local professional rental management agency that can help you pre-qualify tenants, handle on-the-ground troubleshooting, enforce occupancy rules, and deal with emergencies.
What should a new Maine homeowner look for in an insurer?
When considering a new insurance policy, having all of your eggs in one basket is a good thing. Working with a single insurer often paves the way for discounts and account credits, and it can reduce the chances that you’ll have gaps or redundancies in coverage. Because Maine is such a small market, not every major insurer writes policies here or understands its nuances. That’s why it pays to work with an independent local agent who works with a variety of different carriers and can help you find an insurer and policy that best meet your needs. And if you do end up facing a catastrophe, like a fire or an accident, a local agent will be on the ground to help answer questions and problem-solve.