The iconic 1985 comedy “Summer Rental” starring John Candy is a hilarious portrait of Jack Chester, a family-man dedicated to giving his family the best beach vacation possible.  It’s also full of important insurance lessons.  Here’s a quick rundown of what is, and is not, covered.  Review these with your independent agent before going on vacation this summer so you know whether or not you’re protected.

Renting a vacation home

  • Personal liability coverage follows you anywhere in the world.
  • Personal property coverage would apply as well, but coverage for personal property of guests is limited.
  • Should the vacation home, hotel, cottage, etc. be damaged or uninhabitable, there is no Loss of Use coverage under the standard homeowner’s policy.
  • Damage to property of others (such as the building itself or its contents) is limited to $1,000 subject to policy exclusions.

Renting watercraft

  • One of the most common rental scenarios involves jet skis.  ISO’s standard homeowner’s policy provides liability coverage for inboard or inboard/outboard watercraft that has 50 HP or less, BUT This would exclude many, if not most, rented jet skis.
  • The standard ISO homeowner’s policy provides liability coverage for rented sailboats less than 26 feet in length and borrowed sailboats (i.e. not owned or rented) of any length.
  • No coverage for racing events – sorry Jack!
  • Most non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks, rafts, canoes, and rowboats should have some coverage, but it’s always best to check prior to renting.

Renting a car

What can we learn from Jack Chester? Don’t fall asleep in the sun, make sure your vacation home isn’t also the public beach access, and do your homework before embarking on your next family-fun adventure.  Take a few minutes and check with your independent agent – it’s always better to ask if you have coverage beforehand.  Central’s tip sheet Review Your Insurance Coverage on Summer Fun Items is a great guide.

Do any of your vacation plans include a “summer rental?”

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