Serving the Penn-Ohio area

Mehler Insurance | Insurance Agents | Sharpsville, PA other-personal-insurance

Seasonal, Rental, or Vacant Dwellings

Experienced, affordable insurance services.

Whether your own a seasonal home, a rental property, or a vacant dwelling, we are able write the insurance you need. Coverage for such policies is similar to a homeowners policy, with insurance provided for the building, detached structures, contents (if any), as well as premises liability. Some of the notable differences, though, between coverage written on additional dwellings and on your residence are as follows:


Seasonal properties: For the typical hunting camp, or for structures without a continuous masonry foundation, a limit based on depreciated value or market value is usually appropriate. In such cases, the covered causes of loss include a basic set of perils—fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, smoke, explosion, riot, vehicle or aircraft damage, and vandalism.


For higher valued vacation homes, the amount of coverage is usually written at replacement cost. (Settlement for a partial loss would likewise be at replacement without deduction for depreciation.) In these cases, a broader set of perils—including falling objects, weight of ice and snow, etc..—is also written.


Note that travel trailers parked at a campground can be covered under a dwelling policy or an auto policy depending on how permanently situated they are. There are a number of tests used to determine which is the more appropriate policy.    


In all cases, it is necessary to include liability coverage for an additional premises. (While a homeowners’ policy automatically extends liability coverage to vacant land you own, the existence of any structures or farming on the land disqualify it as “vacant”.) In some instances, we are able to extend the liability coverage under your homeowners to a seasonal property. Otherwise, liability coverage is attached to the policy covering damage to the structure.


Rental properties: As with seasonal properties, two approaches are possible. Lower valued income properties are often written at limit based on depreciated value or market value. Again, in such cases, the covered causes of loss include a basic set of perils—fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, smoke, explosion, riot, vehicle or aircraft damage, and vandalism. In other circumstances—say, with a higher valued dwelling or one that is “rented” to a family member—a replacement cost settlement is desired. A broader set of perils also goes along with replacement cost situations.


Contents coverage is not usually carried. Note, though, that building equipment and outdoor equipment used to service the dwelling are covered under the building coverage. Examples would be washers, dryers, lawnmowers.


Detached structures are automatically covered up to 10% of the dwelling amount. Under a basic perils policy, this 10% does not increase the overall limit for a loss involving both a dwelling and a detached structure. With some insurers, if broad or “all-risk” perils are purchased, this 10% is an additional amount of insurance. Higher amounts, however, may be purchased.


Liability coverage is usually written on the same policy as that covering the structure. When multiple locations are involved, it may be better to write a separate Commercial General Liability policy.


Be aware that many tenants are under the mistaken impression that the landlord covers their contents. So, you should encourage your tenants to carry a renters policy—not just for their sake but yours. A renters policy will also provide liability coverage, so if a tenant negligently causes fire damage to your property, a ready source of funds would be available for reimbursement.


Recent years have seen an increase in claims involving rental properties, with injury lawsuits by tenants against landlords more and more common. Besides requiring that your tenants carry a renters policy, you may want to consider the following both to help protect your property as well as to provide a safe environment for your tenants: 1) careful tenant selection, including background checks and references. 2) installation of carbon monoxide detectors and tamper-resistant smoke detectors. 3) installation of dead-bolt locks. 4) providing fire extinguishers in every unit. 5) written leases. 6) prohibiting your tenants from keeping dangerous dogs.


Vacant properties: When a property is vacant, the risk of damage is greatly increased with most insurers not willing to write the coverage. Luckily, we have very competitive markets for well maintained properties that will cover a basic set of perils—fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, smoke, explosion, riot, vehicle or aircraft damage. This is typically written on a market value basis. Be aware that this list does not include vandalism, bursting of pipes, weight of ice and snow, or theft.


We also have markets that will write a broader set of perils, as well as a replacement cost settlement, though at a higher premium.

Mehler Insurance's salaried staff are all licensed agents and have decades of experience.





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Cycles, boats and other "toys"

Information on this section coming soon

Umbrella liability

An Umbrella policy provides liability limits (starting at $1,000,000) in excess of the liability coverage provided by your basic auto and homeowners policies. It does not replace your basic policies, and typically requires that you carry at least $300,000 limits on those policies.


While often purchased by those with a high income or level of assets, or those whose standing in the community may make them a “target” for a lawsuit, everyone is at risk for a devastating lawsuit against them. The cost is moderate.

Other Personal Insurance

Companies We Represent

Aetna American Modern Insurance Group Banner Life CNA Surety Erie Insurance Foremost Insurance Group Hagerty Millville Mutual Philadelphia Insurance Companies Progressive Prudential United Healthcare UPMC logo Utica logo Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Markel